Film Academy Invites a Record 683 New Members: 46 Percent Female and 41 Percent People of Color
As the Oscar-granting organization makes a push for more diversity, it reaches out to the largest number of new members ever.As part of its effort to increase diversity among its ranks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday issued a record 683 invitations to new members – from rising stars like Star Wars' John Boyega and Harry Potters Emma Watson to musicians like Mary J. Blige and Will.i.am to internationally recognized directors like Great Britain's Ken Loach and Iran's Abbas Kiarostami.
The new invitees are heavily weighted to favor women (46 percent) and people of color (41 percent). If all elect to join, it will begin to shift the demographic makeup of the Academy, which has been criticized in the past for being too old, too male and too white. According to the Academy, its membership was 75 percent male before this year's new members were recruited, and could move to 73 percent male once they join. Similarly, the Academy was 92 percent white before the latest list and could become 89 percent white in its wake.
The class of 2016 includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees, who collectively represent 109 nominations. Of the new invitees, 283 are considered international members, representing 59 countries.