Los Angeles, June 30 (IANS) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record 683 new members — 46 per cent female and 41 per cent persons of colour — as it aims to diversify following criticism of its largely white and male membership.
The new members include “Star Wars” actor John Boyega, Idris Elba and last year’s best actress winner Brie Larson. Also invited are Kate Beckinsale, “Creed” director Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan and Emma Watson, reports variety.com.
The Academy membership, with the new class included, is now 27 per cent female and 11 per cent persons of colour. Before the announcement of the new class, it was 25 per cent female and eight per cent persons of colour. The change represents a two per cent increase in female members overall and a three per cent increase in persons of colour, according to the statistics.
The diversity push was in response to the #OscarsSoWhite uproar that took place earlier this year, when all-white acting nominees put a microscope on the Academy’s largely white and male membership.
“We’re proud to welcome these new members to the Academy, and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement.
She also encouraged Hollywood and the larger creative community to “open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry”.
The new class is by far the largest ever announced by the Academy.
Also among the new invitees are Anthony Anderson, Adam Beach, Chadwick Boseman, Carmen Ejogo, America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, Carla Gugino, Regina King, Tom Hiddleston, Rachel McAdams, Patti LuPone, Anika Noni Rose, Nate Parker and Marlon Wayans.