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Film Academy's 774 New Members to Help Ensure Diversity

Image: Film Academy's 774 New Members to Help Ensure Diversity

New members (left to right, top) Kristen Stewart, Gal Gadot, John Cho, (bottom) Chris Pratt, Elle Fanning and Jordan Peele (Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 30 Jun 2017 08:00 AM

The film academy's 774 new members are expected to help ensure diversity as the organization makes sweeping changes to avoid another “Oscars So White” moment.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' newest members expected to add diversity to its ranks include Gal Gadot, of "Wonder Woman," John Cho, of "Star Trek," "Get Out's" Jordan Peele, Janelle Monáe, of "Hidden Figures," and latest box office champion Dwayne Johnson, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Women make up 39 percent of the academy's latest class, with people of color making up 30 percent. With the additions the academy is now 28 percent women and 13 percent people of color.

Last year, the academy's board of governors approved changes designed to make its membership more diverse, including limiting a new member's voting status to 10 years, which can be renewed. The academy vowed to double its diverse membership by 2020.

"We're proud to invite our newest class to the academy," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy's president. "The entire motion picture community is what we make of it. It's up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us."

The Academy has been aggressively trying to improve its diversity ranks since the 2016 "Oscars So White" social media campaign complained that all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting acting categories were white for two consecutive years, as USA Today noted then.

"Oscar So White" protesters pointed to the Academy's membership, which then was 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male as part of the problem.

In February, the motion picture "Moonlight," which chronicled the growing up of an African-American gay man in a rough neighborhood of Miami, won the Academy Award for best picture.

The Hollywood Reporter said each of the academy's 17 branches has its own list of new members and candidates must be sponsored by two members of the branch they will be invited to join.

Other well-known minority actors tapped to become academy members are Debbie Allen, Donald Glover, Terry Crews, Naomie Harris, Leslie Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Sanaa Lathan, Rami Malek, Edgar Ramirez, and B.D. Wong.

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The film academy's 774 new members are expected to help ensure diversity as the organization makes sweeping changes to avoid another “Oscars So White” moment.
film academy, new, members, diversity
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2017-00-30
Friday, 30 Jun 2017 08:00 AM
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