Oscars voting body invites 819 new members, hits diversity target

Image Source: oscars.org

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invitations to 819 artists and executives that have contributed extensively to theatrical motion pictures, exceeding the diversity target that was set for 2020. Of these 819 artists invited, 45 per cent are women and 36 per cent are non-white. Also, 49 per cent of the invitees were from countries other than the United States of America.

These members, once they accept the invitations, will vote for the Oscars in 2021, which have been delayed by two months past the regular date due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 93rd Academy Awards will now be held on 25th April 2021.

In 2016, post the #OscarsSoWhite movement, the Academy set inclusion goals as part of its A2020 initiatives. It pledged to increase by twice the number of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic communities.

And data released by the Academy demonstrates that it has reached it goals effectively.

From 2015 to 2020, the Academy has doubled the number of active women members: while there were only 1446 women members in 2015, the number has increased to 3179 in 2020. Remarkably, the Academy has tripled its active members from the underrepresented ethnic and racial communities: the number has risen from a mere 554 in 2015 to a massive 1787 in 2020.

“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences.  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.

Quite a few famous personalities were among those invited. Eva Longoria, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Alia Bhatt, Cynthia Ervio, and Ana de Armas made it to the list of invitees. Also, many artists including Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun from the South Korean film Parasite, which won the Academy Award for the Best Picture in 2019 made the cut.

“We look forward to continuing to foster an Academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new Museum, and in our awards,” said the academy CEO, Dawn Hudson, in a written statement.

The Academy also confirmed that it would launch a new initiative – Aperture 2025 – to further enhance inclusivity and diversity over the next half decade.

This is certainly a welcome move by the Academy. Do you agree?

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