Oscars voting body hits diversity target with 819 new members


Cynthia Erivo and Eva Longoria

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Cynthia Erivo and Eva Longoria are among the new invitees

The latest batch of actors and film-makers to be invited to vote for the Oscars has been unveiled, exceeding the diversity target that was set for 2020.

After the #OscarsSoWhite movement of 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promised to double the number of female and BAME members.

Eva Longoria and Cynthia Erivo are among those who have been invited to join the organisation this year.

Of the 819 people invited, 45% are women and 36% are non-white.

Figures including Ana de Armas, Zendaya, Awkwafina, Constance Wu and Roma star Yalitza Aparicio have also been invited.

British stars on the list alongside Erivo include 1917 star George MacKay and Little Women’s Florence Pugh.

The Academy said 49% of the new invitees were from outside the US. If all 819 accept, it will bring the organisation’s total membership to 9,412.

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Cuban actress Ana de Armas, who starred in Knives Out, is among the new invitees

They will vote for next year’s Oscars, which will take place two months later than usual as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Very excited to be a new member of The Academy with so many brilliant minds,” tweeted The Farewell director Lulu Wang.

“Though there is still much work to be done, this class looks more like an actual jury of our PEERS than ever before, so that’s a step in the right direction.”

Academy president David Rubin said in a statement: “We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now.”

Before the latest invitees were unveiled, The Academy’s overall membership was 32% female, up from 25% in 2015.

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Awkwafina, one of the new invitees, won a Golden Globe in January for her performance in The Farewell

The number from “underrepresented ethnic/racial communities” had also increased, from 8% in 2015 to 16% in 2018.

Diversity at the Oscars has improved in recent years, with films such as Parasite and Moonlight winning best picture in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Several Parasite actors, including Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun, are among those who have received invitations.

The Academy said it would now launch a new scheme, Aperture 2025, to further increase its diversity over the next five years.

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