The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continues to make strides to diversify its membership, and 2017’s invites to film professionals to join the Academy surpasses last year’s record with a whopping 774 potential new members. Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite fiasco, outgoing Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has taken serious strides to invite a more dynamic range of professionals to join the Academy and vote in the Oscars. Just a couple years of this resulted, in my estimation, in some serious surprises at this past Oscars where every prognosticator’s ballot died a firey death. Long-held traditions and bellwethers fell as the Academy members seemed to be voting more from the heart rather than following the same old pattern.
From 2015 to 2017 alone there has been a 359% increase in women invited to join the Academy and a 331% increase in people of color, and this year’s new class is 39% female and 30% persons of color. Seven branches invited more women than men, including the actors, executives, and film editors.
This year’s new invitees (and yes it should be noted that we can’t fully say these are Academy members yet, because not everyone accepts the invite) are wildly exciting. From the Actors branch we’ve got folks like Riz Ahmed, Gal Gadot, Rebecca Ferguson, John Cho, Terry Crews, Warwick Davis, Donald Glover, Adam Driver, Priyanka Chopra, Armie Hammer, Jon Hamm, Naomie Harris, Dwayne Johnson, Keegan-Michael Key, Amy Poehler, Channing Tatum, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kristen Stewart, Janelle Monae, Ruth Negga, Margot Robbie, and married couple Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. Indeed, between Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson the Marvel Cinematic Universe is well represented in this new 2017 class.
There’s plenty of exciting additions elsewhere. Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Jordan Peele (Get Out) are being invited to both the Directors and Writers branches, while the Directors branch is also adding David Ayer (Suicide Squad), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), Guy Ritchie, and Joe and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Infinity War).
The Writers branch is adding Joss Whedon, Simon Pegg (The World’s End), Katie Dippold (Ghostbusters), Eric Heisserer (Arrival), and Taylor Sheridan (Sicario). Cinematographers James Laxton (Moonlight), Linus Sandgren (La La Land), Robert Hardy (Ex Machina), and Chung-Hoon Chung (Stoker) are joining that branch, while the Music branch has extended invites to Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mica Levi (Jackie), Justin Hurwitz (la La Land), and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
Check out the full list of invitees below and sound off with some of your favorites.