New Oscar voters include Billie Eilish, Ariana DeBose

As the film industry still regains its footing after more than two years of pandemic upheaval, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that it is opening its ranks to 397 new members in the latest leg of its ongoing effort to diversify its members.

Representing 54 countries, the guest list includes names in bold like Ariana DeBose, Billie Eilish, Jamie Dornan and Anya Taylor-Joy, as well as numerous below-the-line artists, filmmakers, executives and professionals whose names have not never graced the marquee in a multiplex. The group includes 71 Oscar nominees, such as ‘The Lost Daughter’ star Jessie Buckley and ‘The Power of the Dog’ nominee Jesse Plemons, as well as 15 former Oscar winners, including actor winner support “CODA” Troy Kotsur.

As the academy continues to push for greater inclusion both within the organization and in the industry as a whole, 44% of class of 2022 members identify as female and 37% are from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities. Half come from outside the United States.

The announcement comes as the academy finds itself at a crossroads with an impending leadership transition, as Academy Museum director Bill Kramer prepares to take over as director next month. general of the organization from current CEO Dawn Hudson, who has led the academy through 11 transformations and at times tumultuous years.

After achieving its 2020 goal, set in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, of doubling the number of women and people of color in its ranks, the organization has slowed the pace of its growth in recent years. This year’s guest group is almost the same size as last year’s, which was 395.

While still significantly larger than the annual guest groups of previous decades, which were typically limited by quotas to around 100 members, this year’s class is less than half the size of the class of 819. of 2020, which itself was smaller than the 2018 record-breaking class which weighed in at a gargantuan 928.

Last year the academy announced that it planned to return to more limited class sizes “to allow for steady future growth and to ensure the infrastructure, staffing resources and environment necessary to support all members. of the academy”.

Including the new class, according to the academy, 34% of its members identify as female, while 19% are from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, on par with last year’s benchmarks. In a 2012 landmark analysis, The Times reported that Oscar voters at the time were 94% white and 77% male.

Seven branches invited more women than men this year, including casting directors, costume designers, documentaries, producers, and marketing and public relations. Three branches attracted the majority of their applicants from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, including documentaries, directors, and actors, by far the largest of the academy’s branches.

In the director branch, guests include Sian Heder, who won this year’s adapted screenplay award for ‘CODA,’ which won the Best Picture Oscar, and Reinaldo Marcus Green, whose ‘King Richard’ also won. got a Best Picture nod. . In the music branch, guests include Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell, who won the Original Song Oscar for the title track from the James Bond film, “No Time to Die.”

The academy’s announcement comes as inclusion issues continue to plague Hollywood’s all-important awards season. Last year, a Times investigation highlighted the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the small group that distributes the Golden Globes, does not include any black members, sparking a firestorm that eventually led NBC to announce last month that she withdrew the awards. the air for 2022.

The HFPA has since added new members, including 6 who are black. But with some in the industry continuing to hold the band at bay, it’s still unclear whether the Globes will make a televised return in 2023.

If all accept their invitations, the total number of film academy members will increase to 10,665, including 9,665 voting members.

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