From The Hollywood Reporter:
Oscars’ Diversity Dilemma: A Mathematical Solution to Parity in VotingHe teaches what at the what?
by Brian McLaughlin 1/29/2016 6:00am PST
Los Angeles Film School instructor Brian McLaughlin has a quick fix to mitigate the old white guy factor.
How to address the Academy’s diversity issue?
… So what to do? I would like to propose a mathematical solution, since I teach statistics at L.A. Film School.
There is a simple change that could be made so that Oscar voting would be weighted to correlate to the demographics of the moviegoing public.What about people who think Furious 7 should win Best Picture? They should get ten times as many votes as people who liked Spotlight.
Each year, the Motion Picture Association of America publishes the Theatrical Market Statistics report. In it, they slice and dice domestic and international movie attendance in every way imaginable. Using that report as a baseline, each voter’s ballot could be assigned an appropriate weight so that the total weighted votes would mirror the gender and racial breakdown of the domestic film audience.
… The same could be done with ethnicity, although the math in this example isn’t as simple. Minorities represent about 37 percent of moviegoers but only 7 percent of the Academy. So ballots of minority voters would need to be weighted about 7.8 times more heavily than those of white voters. Total white votes would have a weight of 5,580 (6,000 x 93 percent), and total minority votes would have a weight of 3,277 (6,000 x 7 percent x 7.8). Add the two together (5,580 + 3,277 = 8,857), and the weighted minority vote at the Academy becomes 37 percent, reflecting that of the audience.
This would be a multiplicative process, so votes by women of color would carry even more weight, 23.4 times those of white men.
… I know that the basis for democracy is one man, one vote, but just as congressional districts have been gerrymandered, weighted balloting is a form of Hollywood redistricting.These concepts of voting, counting the votes, giving the prize to the person who gets the most votes … they just seem outdated. It’s 2016! The producers should simply make up an inoffensive list of winners based on current social norms.
Brian McLaughlin, a producer and actor, is an instructor at Los Angeles Film School.