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Oscars 2016: Academy answers questions about new membership rules

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

After announcing a dramatic overhaul of its membership practices and Oscar voting rules last week in order to promote diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has answered a list of frequently asked questions about the new measures on its website.

The FAQ asserts that the academy is not “excluding older members. Everyone will retain membership.”

It goes on to detail how academy members who work actively in motion pictures will maintain their voting rights. “You must be employed in the same kinds of quality films that got you into the Academy in the first place,” the document says, adding, “The intention is to be inclusive.”

Last week the academy announced that from now on, each new member’s voting status will last 10 years, to be renewed if the member is active in the industry during that decade. Three 10-year terms will grant lifetime voting rights, as will winning or being nominated for an Oscar. The same standards will be retroactively applied to current members.

Those who don’t qualify as active will be moved to emeritus status, which includes “all the benefits of membership except voting,” per the FAQ. Emeritus members who become active again will be eligible to have their voting rights reinstated.

“We want the Oscars to be voted on by people who are currently working in motion pictures, or who have been active for a long time,” the FAQ says. “There are a number of academy members, however, who had brief careers and left the business. We want to strengthen, uphold, and maintain the credibility of the Oscars with these new criteria.

“Voting for the Oscars is a privilege of membership, not a right.”

Read the full FAQ.