Having promised to expand the diversity of not only their nominees but also their members, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the list of 683 people invited this year to join their ranks—and the list is far more diverse than your average slate of Oscar nominees. From the acting branch (Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Michael B. Jordan, Adepero Oduye) to the writers (Ryan Coogler, Ice Cube, Park Chan-wook), the names on the list aren’t just a who’s-who of exciting voices in film—they present a far bolder, more inclusive vision of the future than the Academy has ever had.
And the Academy knows it, too; the Class of 2016, as they’re called, is the largest group of invitees ever. A bar graph at the official Web site notes that the new class is 46% female and 41% people of color, compared to the 25% and 8%, respectively, who previously made up the Academy. By expanding their reach the Academy has not only included the recent Oscar winners who weren’t already members (Brie Larson, Mark Rylance, and Alicia Vikander all received invitations), but major international filmmakers who had somehow never made the cut (Catherine Breillat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Lana and Lilly Wachowski have been invited to join the directors’ branch).
Looking at the actors’ branch in particular, it’s also just fun to think about all of these people voting on your Oscars—Tom Hiddleston has been invited, as have at least three veterans of the TV show Lost (Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Dae Kim, Harold Perrineau), three members of the Wayans family (Damon Jr. , Keenan Ivory, and Marlon), and Broadway legend Patti LuPone. The writers’ branch now includes Tina Fey and Carol scribe Phyllis Nagy, the music branch has extended invitations to Will.i.am, Sia, and Mary J. Blige—the list goes on. Not all of these people will be in the room for next year’s Oscars, of course, but just imagine if they were.
Below is a list of the actors invited to join the Academy this year; for a full list of invitees, visit the Academy Web site.
Vivica A. Fox
Jesse D. Goins
O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson
Michael B. Jordan
Daniel Dae Kim
Ignacio López Tarso
Anika Noni Rose
Damon Wayans, Jr.
See below, the letter that was written by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy President.
On behalf of the Academy, I am honoured to extend membership invitations to 683 distinguished filmmakers, artists and executives who represent the best in our global film community, and who have made a lasting impact on movie fans everywhere.
We’re proud to welcome these new members to the Academy and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership.
This class continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today. We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.