Academy invites record 744 new members in effort to increase diversity

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning that it had invited a record 744 new members to its governing body, including many women and people of colour.

The Academy has heavily criticised in the past for failing to diversify its membership, reaching a political and cultural climax in two years ago. At the 2015 Oscars, all 20 acting nominees were white, prompting the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, and widespread demand that the awards show’s governing body included more women and people of colour.

Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, wrote a statement accompanying the list of new additions, saying “We’re proud to invite our newest class to the Academy. The entire motion picture community is what we make of it. It’s up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us.”

This year’s class, 39% of which is comprised of women, reflects a 359% jump, from 2015 to 2017, in the number of women invited to join the Academy. People of colour make up 30% of the 744 added members.

This includes our own Ruth Negga, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in Loving, Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins and lead actress Naomi Harris, Hidden Figures actress and singer Janelle Monae, and Get Out director Jordan Peele, who is working on a series of films about social horrors such as racism and bigotry.

Other additions include Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, John Cho, Riz Ahmed, Donald Glover, Priyanka Chopra, Rupert Grint, Dwayne Johnson, Betty White, Rami Malek, Wanda Sykes and Tom Ford.

 

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