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Twitter Reacts to Academy’s Diversity Overhaul With a Mix of Skepticism and Hope

"Shame is a helluva motivator"

After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a series of measures to increase diversity Friday, interested parties took to Twitter with a blend of celebration, uncertainty and a rather healthy dose of snark.

Director Ava DuVernay expressed a mix of optimism about the changes and skepticism about the motivations behind them, tweeting that it’s “One good step in a long, complicated journey,” but also that “Shame is a helluva motivator,” especially given a lack of response to repeated calls for change from marginalized artists over the years.

Along a similar line of thinking, other Twitter users were quick to accuse the Academy of acting swiftly in the name of public relations rather than out of a true desire for change:

Others brought a reminder that while the Academy has the power to influence the behavior of its members, the lack of diversity in Hollywood must also be addressed at the level of the studio executives who decide which movies get made in the first place, and directors who cast actors in their films:

Some commented on the possible reaction from older members of the Academy, who will transition to “emeritus” status with no voting rights if they have not been active in movies for a decade or more:

And of course, there were those who couldn’t resist a more humorous take:

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