Academy Awards Attempting to Combat #OscarsSoWhite with New, Diverse Members

In response to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash the Academy Awards has faced the last two years, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced 683 new invitees yesterday (June 29, 2016).

“(We) know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership,” she said in her statement.

America Ferrera, Idris Elba, John Boyega, Emma Watson, Vivica A. Fox, Oscar Isaac, Michelle Rodriguez, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Daniel Dae Kim, Michael B. Jordan and Alicia Vikander are among those invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the new 2016 class – i.e. more women and more diversity.

Boone Isaacs added:

This class continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today. We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.

USA Today notes that “the new class, a record in size, is 46% female and 41% people of color.” Their ages range from 24 to 91.

#OscarsSoWhite was a heated and important movement that began in January of this year after only white actors and actresses were the nominees in the awards show’s top four categories, for the second year in a row.

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and Boone Isaacs announced their goal of doubling the number of women and minority members by 2020. Should each new invitee of the new class accept the honor, the Academy’s percentage of female members would increase from 25% to 27%, and members of color from 8% to 11%.

In addition, the 2016 class includes 283 new international members from 59 countries.

On the director’s side, new members include Creed director Ryan CooglerBeasts of No Nation director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Belle director Amma Asante, and more. New members of the music branch include Mary J. BligeSia Furler and Will.i.am.

See the full list of new members here and listen to our first-ever Celebuzz’d podcast about the #OscarsSoWhite in the player below.