LOS ANGELES – The film world’s most exclusive club – the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – just got a whole lot bigger.
On Monday, in its latest and most dramatic step to diversify its historically overwhelmingly white and male membership, the academy announced that it had invited a record-setting 928 film professionals from around the world to join its ranks, including such boldfaced names as Emilia Clarke, Timothée Chalamet, Mindy Kaling, Dave Chappelle and director Michel Gondry, as well as numerous more actors, filmmakers and below-the-line craftspeople whose names would be unfamiliar to even the most die-hard moviegoer.
This immense influx of new members is the academy’s largest and most diverse ever, topping last year’s 774 new members, which itself was a major leap over the previous year’s 684 invitees.
In 2016, the academy pledged after 2 years of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy to double the number of women and minorities in its ranks by 2020. According to its own figures, the new class is 49 percent female, bringing up the total representation of women in the group from 28 percent to 31 percent. Thirty-eight percent of the new class is people of color, raising their proportion in the academy from 13 percent to 16 percent.
– Tribune New Service
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