Oscars push for more gender and ethnical diversity
The organisers of the Oscars have invited a record number of new members to vote in next year’s Academy Awards, in response to criticism of a lack of diversity at this year’s ceremony.
Nearly 700 people were invited, with a focus on women and ethnic minorities.
Almost half the people who have been asked to join are women and almost as many people of colour.
For the second year in a row, all the nominees at February’s 88th Academy Awards were white, sparking an outcry.
The protests led to an unprecedented debate about racial equality in the film industry – characterised on social media by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite – and caused several Hollywood stars to boycott the awards ceremony.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences then agreed to a shake up of its membership – traditionally seen as old, white and male – to bring in more women and members of ethnic minorities.
The new invitees include actors John Boyega of Star Wars, Emma Watson of Harry Potter, Swedish Oscar winner Alicia Vikander and musician Mary J Blige, the academy said in a statement.
Should all of those invited agree to join, the demographic of the more than 6,000 members would only slightly change from being mostly white, male and over 60.
Male membership currently stands at 75% and would slip to 73%. White membership would decrease from 92% to 89%.