The Academy Invites 928 New Members, from Daniel Kaluuya to Sufjan Stevens
In an astonishing move to swell the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership ranks, a record 928 artists and executives from 59 countries have been invited to join this year. The branches have increasingly actively sought eligible people to become Academy members, but the Board of Governors makes the final call; this year, they did not invite Kobe Bryant although he won an Oscar for animated short “Dear Basketball.”
Clearly, people of color (38 percent) and women (49 percent) are among the many invites, as the Academy continues to address its long-term white-male dominance. As always, actors make up the largest branch of the Academy, but many new members also come from overseas.
In 2017, the Academy invited 744 new members.
Seventeen Oscar winners are among the new invited members (Melissa Etheridge) and 92 Oscar nominees (Daniela Vega, Yance Ford, Timothee Chalamet, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon). Nine of the 17 branches invited more women than men. The percentage of women in the Academy has risen from 25 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2018. For people of color, the needle moved from 8 percent in 2015 to 16 percent. Not all invitees will accept. (Ryan Coogler, for example, declined.) The new total assuming most accept their invites will be about 8200.
Isla Fisher – “Nocturnal Animals,” “Wedding Crashers”