Academy Awards Take First Steps in Fixing Diversity Issue

Academy Awards diversity
The Academy has taken steps to diversify the Oscars by inviting 683 new members to join its ranks, 46% of whom are female and 41% people of color.

The 683 new invitations were announced Wednesday June 29th, and more than doubles last year’s previous high of 322. Of the new class, only those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2016.

The Academy has garnered a lot of negative attention in recent years for its lack of diversity among nominees and those who are allowed to vote for those nominees. The new invitations are a first step towards the organization rectifying its diversity issue, in both gender and racial areas. Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has committed to doubling the amount of diversty within the organization by 2020 and, according to Variety, feels that the goal is quite reachable. “In the next four years, it’s important to finalize the goal that we set. The conversation is continuing. I think there is going to be a lot of positive energy that will pollinate and make more.”

Take a look at some of the new invitees below:

Actors: Mahershala Ali, Anthony Anderson, Chadwick Boseman, John Boyega, Morris Chestnut, Loretta Devine, Carmen Ejogo, Idris Elba, Vivica A. Fox, Dennis Haysbert, Ice Cube, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Nia Long, Adepero Oduye, Nate Parker, Harold Perrineau, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Lorraine Toussaint, Glynn Turman, Gabrielle Union, Damon Wayans Jr. and Marlon Wayans.

Casting: Jacqueline “Jaki” Brown, Kim Taylor-Coleman

Art Department: production designer Hannah E. Beachler, storyboard artists Warren Drummond and Michael Anthony Jackson

Directors: Amma Asante, Souleymane Cissé, Ryan Coogler, Julie Dash, Cheryl Dunye, Albert Hughes, Euzhan Palcy, Dee Rees, George Tillman, Jr., Melvin Van Peeples, Keenan Ivory Wayans

Documentarians: Haile Gerima, Laurens Grant, Thomas Allen Harris, Shola Lynch, Louis Massiah, Dawn Porter

Executives: Courtney D. Armstrong, Nicole Brown, Pauline Fischer, DeVon Franklin, James F. Lopez

Hair/Make-Up: Pierce Austin, Camille Friend, Norma Hill-Patton, Beverly Jo Pryor

Music: Mary J. Blige, RZA, Marcus Miller, Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson, Will.i.am

Producers: Debra Martin Chase, Paul E. Hall

Publicists: Jacqueline L. “Jackie” Bazan, Cassandra Butcher, Terra Potts, Arnold Robinson

Short Films and Animation: Damon Russell

Writers: Ryan Coogler, Ice Cube, Keenan Ivory Wayans (all invited in multiple categories)

Members at Large: Yolanda T. Cochran, Cameron Mitchell

If you’d like to read the full list of new invitees, click here.