The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said its new class of invitees is 50 percent women and 29 percent people of color

By Helen Murphy
July 02, 2019 09:33 AM

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 842 film industry professionals to join its ranks this year.

Lady Gaga, Winston Duke, Jamie Bell, Elisabeth Moss, Gemma Chan, Will Poulter, Claire Foy, Sterling K. Brown, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland and Adele — among other actors, directors, writers and more — were all invited, the Academy announced on Monday.

According to the Academy, the new class of members is 50 percent women and 29 percent people of color. The invitees also represent 59 different countries.

This year’s group of invitees comes after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy when the slate of acting nominees in 2015 and 2016 included no people of color. Following the controversy, the Academy ramped up its membership efforts in hopes of cultivating a larger, more diverse voting body.

In 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the organization invited 928 new members, representing its largest class since 2015.

As of 2019, 32 percent of the Academy’s members are female, THR reports — an increase of seven percent from 2015. Further, 16 percent are people of color — a two-fold increase from eight percent in 2015.

Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Frazer Harrison/Getty; Rachel Luna/Getty

Ratings for this year’s Oscars ceremony, which went without a host and crowned Green Book as Best Picture, were up from 2018 by approximately 12 percent in total viewers.

Following the success of this year’s show, the 2020 Oscars might once again go without an emcee when they air live on Feb. 9 next year.

“I believe we will not mess with that format to the best of our ability,” ABC Entertainment head Karey Burke said in May.

In June, the Academy announced that it would be presenting honorary Oscars to filmmaker David Lynch, Cherokee-American actor Wes Studi and director Lina Wertmüller this year. Additionally, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be given to Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis.