Many celebrities who spoke out about the 2016 Oscar nominations' lack of diversity welcomed the academy's announcement of sweeping changes to diversity its own membership. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's 51-member board of governors voted unanimously Thursday evening to double the number of women and members of color by 2020.

Criticism of the lack of diversity in the nominations, which were announced Jan. 14, mushroomed after actress April Reign created the hashtag on Twitter "#OscarsSoWhite." After news broke of the academy's decision Friday, Reign retweeted dozens of messages celebrating it.

"I appreciate the fact that the vote was unanimous, which indicates to me that the academy is serious about making the organization more inclusive and more diverse," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I’ve spoken about my concern that some of the older academy members still have a vote even though they aren’t active in the film industry, and that appears to be addressed. The fact that they will be proactively looking for more diverse members is [also] exciting."

"Selma" director Ava DuVernay called the commitment "one good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color and women artists," but noted that shame was a significant motivator in the academy's decision.




Actress Michelle Rodriguez took to Twitter to point out that there is still more work to be done. She said that the culture of the film industry needs to change as well. 

"Justified" actor Nick Searcy took to Twitter with a tongue-in-cheek response to the announcement."If Oscar would just establish a quota system, they could become even more boring and meaningless than they are now," he tweeted.

Ken Howard, veteran actor and president of actors' union SAG-AFTRA, applauded the academy's announcement.

"I think the effort is well intended and I think it should be acceptable to people," he told the Los Angeles Times. "The criticism is that [the academy] is just a bunch of old white guys  — and that's fair — and how are we going to remedy that? They are doing that."