The Academy of Motion Pictures Prioritizes Diversity with 928 New Membership Invitations

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Prioritizes Diversity with 928 New Membership Invitations

Since the #OscarsSoWhite backlash of 2015, The Academy of Motion Pictures has made various promises to prioritize diversity among its membership, vocalizing a goal to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

Clearly, their actions are following their words, as this year a record 928 actors, directors, executives, filmmakers and others working in the industry hailing from 59 countries have been invited to join the Academy, and the proposed new members are more diverse than ever before.

In 2015, the Academy’s voting members were 92 percent white and 75 percent male. In an effort to move the needle, 49 percent of the members invited this year are female, which would bring the membership to 31 percent women. 38 percent of the invitees were people of color, which would bring the overall membership to 16 percent POC. Nine branches, including actors, executives and producers, sent out more invites to women than men.

Among the members invited are 17 Oscar winners and 92 nominees, including Daniel Kaluuya, Timothée Chalamet, Kumail Nanjiani (invited in both the acting and writing branches, along with his wife, Emily Gordon) and Quvenzhane Wallis, who, at 14 years old, is the youngest member invited this year.

Other notable invitations include Tiffany Haddish, Alison Brie, Dave Chappelle, Mindy Kaling, Gina Rodriguez, Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress, Emilia Clarke, Danai Gurira, Justin Simien, Luca Guadagnino, Hong Chau, Sofia Boutella, Lena Headey, Randall Park, Daisy Ridley and Jada Pinkett Smith. You can check out the full list here.

The music category had a number of notable nominees as well, including Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens and Questlove.

While not all of those invited will accept and become members—Ryan Coogler, for instance, declined his invitation in 2016—the news means an overall younger and more diverse voting body. This could likely lead to more representation among the nominees, which has shown in the years since 2015, as films like Moonlight, Get Out and The Shape of Water begin to take home awards and get the recognition they deserve.

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