The Academy Invites 842 New Members, Proves To Be More Inclusive Than Ever Before

Following through on promises to finally diversify the rank and file of the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Oscar-granting body has invited a record number of 842 new members, making it the largest group ever in the history of the Academy awards. Out of all the new members invited to vote that would ultimately Oscar winners, 49 percent are women and 29 percent are people of colour.

The invitations were sent to an array of people involved in the film industry across 59 countries, including India. Directors Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap are among the 842 new members invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Veteran actor Anupam Kher and Lunchbox writer-director Ritesh Batra are also invited by the Oscars in its latest push to become more inclusive. Further, Indian origin actor Archie Punjabi and Late Night director Nisha Ganatra too have received the honourable invite. Even Sherry Bharda of Uri: The Surgical Strike fame and Srinivas Mohan, best known for his work on 2.0 and Baahubali: The Beginning, have been invited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to join an acclaimed group of pioneers in the field of visual effects.

The list of invites also include prominent names like Lady Gaga, Tom Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Sterling K. Brown, Jennifer Kent, Trevante Rhodes, Timothee Chalamet, Daniel Kaluuya, Jennifer Grey and many more. The Academy awards had invited 928 new members in 2018 which included Indian names such as Shah Rukh Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu and Madhuri Dixit.

This initiative is taken by the Academy awards to include more women and more people of colour after the 2014 and 2015 #OscarsSoWhite controversies that essentially had shut-out non-white actors from all 20 nominations in the lead and supporting acting roles. This is the fourth year of the Academy’s effort to go all inclusive; 683 new members were invited in 2016, 774 in 2017 and 928 in 2018 which is a big contrast to just 332 invites in 2015.