oscars

Idris Elba and Emma Watson among new members of the Academy following 2016 diversity criticism

hellomagazine.com

Idris Elba, Emma Watson, John Boyega and Tina Fey are among the stars who have been asked to join the Oscars committee this year. As part of its effort to increase diversity, the Academy issued a record 683 new invitations on Wednesday, with a focus on women and ethnic minorities; 46% of the new invitees are women and 41% are people of colour.

The new list demonstrates the impact of last year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy. For the second year in a row, all the acting nominees at the 88th Academy Awards were white, sparking a huge outcry and leading to a debate about racial inequality in the film industry.  

CLICK TO VIEW GALLERY

idris-elbaVIEW GALLERY

Idris Elba was among those invited to join the Academy this year

Soon afterwards, the Academy agreed to a shake-up of its membership - traditionally seen as old, white and male - to bring in more women and members of ethnic minorities.

Shortly after the list was announced, Star Wars star John tweeted his gratitude at being invited to join the Academy, saying it was "always a blessing to be one of the many Oscar voters that will hopefully spark change". Ugly Betty star America Ferrera also thanked the institution, tweeting that it was a great chance to "create opportunities" for others.

The class of 2016 includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees. Of the new invitees, 283 are considered international members, representing 59 countries.

cheryl-oscarsVIEW GALLERY

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, has pledged to increase diversity

Recent Oscar winners on the list include Room star Brie Larson, The Danish Girl's Alicia Vikander, and Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance, and several names overlooked in the last round of Oscars nominations also made the cut – including Beasts of No Nation's Idris and Creed star Michael B Jordan.

This year's list is almost double that of 2015's 322 invitations, which was also an increase on the 271 invited to join in 2014, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  There are currently more than 6,000 members of the Academy, and that figure is dominated by white males over the age of 60; according to the institution, its membership was 75% male and 92% white before the inclusion of this year's invitees.