Academy invites record 928 new members

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issued 928 invitations to people in the film industry, breaking the record 774 invitations sent out last year.

The rising number of invitations is an effect of the Academy’s diversity initiative announced in 2016, after its predominance of older, white male members was criticised on social media through the #OscarsSoWhite. At the time, the voting members of the Academy numbered 6,241 and were only 25% female and 8% people of colour. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, then Academy President, vowed that the number of women and diverse members would double by 2020. If all of this year’s invitees accept, the representation of people of colour will have already doubled, rising to 16%, while women still make up only 31% of the board.

168 invitations were issued from the actors branch, with recipients including last year’s nominees Daniel Kaluuya and Timothee Chalamet, as well as veterans Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), future Queen Olivia Colman, and Broadway’s Audra McDonald. Mindy Kaling, Amandla Stenberg, Daisy Ridley, and Little Miss Sunshine‘s Abigail Breslin are also among the complete list of acting invitees.

Ten invitees received invitations from more than one of the Academy’s 17 branches, including Sean Baker (The Florida Project) and Ruben Ostlund (The Square), invited as both directors and writers, and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) as both actor and writer.

Newly invited directors include Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), Justin Simean (Dear White People), Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya),  Andy Muschietti (It) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie). Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther), Jeong Seo-kyeong (The Handmaiden), and Gonzalo Maza (A Fantastic Woman) are among those invited to the Academy as writers.

Other notable invitees include Jada Pinkett Smith, who boycotted the ceremony in 2016, Kendrick Lamar, for his contribution to the soundtrack of Black Panther, and J.K. Rowling, invited for her work on the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

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