Long criticized for a membership made up mostly of white men and embarrassed by the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it has reached its goal to double the number of women and people of color in its membership.
The class of 819 artists and executives invited to become members this year more than doubles the number of female members, from 1,446 to 3,179. The number of members from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities has tripled, from 554 to 1,787.
“We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one,” the academy’s chief executive, Dawn Hudson, said in a statement. “We are committed to staying the course.”
The list of actors invited to join includes “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu and Awkwafina, as well as Yalitza Aparicio, the Oscar-nominated lead of “Roma,” and five performers from this year’s best-picture winner, “Parasite.”
Several recent Oscar winners were added to the membership roll, including Matthew A. Cherry, who nabbed the animated-short Oscar this year for “Hair Love.”
The list of new members invited to join the directors branch includes two women who were overlooked by the Oscars last year, Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), in addition to acclaimed indie filmmakers like Ari Aster (“Midsommar”) and Robert Eggers (“The Lighthouse”).
Despite the recruiting gains, only 19% of the current members are people of color, while just 33% of Oscar voters are female. To that end, the academy has announced a new program, Academy Aperture 2025, that is charged with implementing new representation and inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility. More details on those guidelines are expected to be released in the next year.