The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited 928 new members to join its ranks, according to EW. In 2016, the Academy decided to be more inclusive and diversified and that has really shown in its 2018 batch of new additions.
The new members push the Academy’s overall female membership to 31% from 28% last year, while people of color will make up 16%, up from 13% last year. Although those figures are an improvement over 2017, there’s still a long way to go to achieve parity within the ranks.
This year, 49% of the invites went to female actors and filmmakers and 38% went to people representing people of color as the organization ramps up its efforts to diversify its membership.
Mindy Kaling, Christine Baranski, Dave Chappelle, Taye Diggs, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Audra McDonald are among the industry veterans receiving their invite for the first time. Meanwhile, Timothée Chalamet, Tiffany Haddish, Daniela Vega, Emilia Clarke, Daisy Ridley, Danai Gurira, Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoey Deutch, and Amandla Stenberg are among the rising stars coming on board to the actors’ branch.
Among the invitees, there are 17 Oscar winners and 92 Oscar nominees. After winning Grammy awards and a Pulitzer Prize this year for DAMN. Kendrick Lamar has gotten an invite to the Academy’s music branch for his work on the chart-topping Black Panther soundtrack. Another known name to be added is Melissa Etheridge (who won an Oscar in 2007 original song “I Need To Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth), and The Roots’ drummer Questlove.
The invited members come from about 59 countries, including South, Nigeria, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, India, and many more. “Every year, it dawns on all of us that the movie business every year increasingly becomes less a domestic United States/North American business, it’s a business for the world, so I’m really excited that the Academy and what you’re seeing in terms of membership is beginning to represent and reflect how global what we do really is,” DeVon Franklin, diversity chairman of the executives branch said. This year’s record 928 new members is more than last year’s 774 invitees, pushing the Academy’s overall membership to more than 9,000 people in the film industry.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo