The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expanded the Oscar awards voting body by adding 819 members to it, thus exceeding the diversity target set for 2020.
After the #OscarsSoWhite movement of 2016, the Academy promised to double the number of female and BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) members with Oscars voting privileges.
The 2020 batch of invitees include American actress, producer, director Eva Longoria, English actress, singer and songwriter Cynthia Erivo, American actress and singer Zendaya, Awkwafina, whose rap song “My Vag” became popular on YouTube, and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt.
The list of those who were invited to join the organisation this year includes actors, Directors, Cinematographers, Costume Designers, Documentary film-makers, Film Editors, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists, Marketing and Public Relations Executives, Music directors and singers.
The Academy said in a press release that it is extending invitations to join the organization to 819 artists and executives who are distinguished by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
45 percent of the 2020 class is women, and 36 percent belongs to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities.
Nearly half of the new invitees were from outside the U.S.
In 2016, the Academy had set an initiative to double the number of members in these categories by 2020.
The invitees hail from 68 countries.
They include 75 Oscar nominees, 15 winners, and five recipients of Scientific and Technical Awards, and will vote for next year’s Oscars, which will take place in April 2021.
“We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” said Academy President David Rubin.
The Academy recently announced the next phase of its equity and inclusion initiative, which will increase representation within its membership and the greater film community. The initial phase of “Academy Aperture 2025” outlined specific goals for the Oscars and Academy governance, membership, and workplace culture.
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