Zendaya is among the new actors part of the academy (Image Via Getty Images)
The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences issued a round of invitations to 819 new members after making its annual selection. In a move to continue diversifying its ranks, the Oscars voting body has included 45 percent women and 36 percent people of colour, while 49 percent represent some 68 countries. The majority of actors invited to join the Hollywood film industry’s top organisation were women, and over half were from "underrepresented ethnic/racial communities," according to an Academy statement. Additionally, the huge 2020 list includes varied figures from all sectors of the industry, from acting and publicity to costume design.
Leading females like Zendaya, Eva Longoria and Awkwafina are part of the new group of big Hollywood names. "Knives Out" actor and Upcoming Bond girl Ana De Armas, Florence Pugh ("Little Women"), Zazie Beetz ("The Joker") and Constance Wu ("Crazy Rich Asians") are some of the other crowd favourites that have been chosen by the academy that puts on the Oscars. Other Asians making it on the list include "The Farewell" director Lulu Wang and several actors from this year's Best Picture winner "Parasite," including Jang Hye-jin, Jo Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam and Lee Jung-eun. Some A-listers even got multiple invites, like "Harriet" star Cynthia Erivo, who was the only non-white acting nominee at this year’s Oscars. She now has to decide whether she wants to join the actors or music branches.
"We look forward to continuing to foster an academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programmes, our new museum and in our awards," academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a written statement. Academy President David Rubin also spoke about the notable list, saying the organisation is "delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences."
The film academy, which now has about 10,000 voting members, has made branching out its ranks a main focus. In 2016, following calls to boycott the Oscars and an angry social media backlash under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, it committed to doubling its female and minority membership by 2020, an aim that has already been exceeded. Earlier this month, the Academy said it will introduce new eligibility rules to boost diversity among Oscars nominees, with the changes intended to "encourage equitable hiring practices and representation on and off screen."