Business, Entertainment, FYI, Racism the US

The most diverse Academy drive in history

some of the 683 newest invitees in AMPAS


UPDATE 7/1:  Corrected to include the correct name of the Academy President which is Cheryl Boone Issac.

The AMPAS aka, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced its list of 683 invitees to join the storied group. This comes after the very controversial #Oscarssowhite campaign last year when not a single African American was nominated for an academy award.

AMPAS members are the voting block that view screeners and decide who should be nominated.  They attend the Oscars and ultimately vote on who will win. This very diverse list includes, 283 international members, from more than 59 countries.

According to the academy’s figures, the new class is 46% female, bringing the representation of women in the organization from 25% to 27%. Forty-one percent of the invitees are people of color, bringing minorities’ share of total academy membership from 8% to 11%.

Other  names on the list include actors Emma Watson, Tina Fey, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hiddleston and Ice Cube and directors Ryan Coogler, Julie Dash, Adam McKay and Patty Jenkins.

If all of the 2016 invitees accept their invitations, the total membership of the academy will reach 7,789.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Issacs

The Academy is 95% white and 77% male. With new AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (an African American female) at the helm, the organization is hoping to double the number of women and minorities.

But the drive for diversity, as expected, has not been embraced by all. The Academy was designed to allow only a select few into it ranks.  Older academy members may question the qualifications of the newest members:

In an interview with The Times in February, former academy President Hawk Koch called the targets “impossible” to reach, saying, “There aren’t that many qualified people, period, of any race or gender, to invite each year.”

Boone Isaacs pushed back against that notion. “I was always perplexed by those kinds of comments, to be honest,” she said Wednesday. “Does anybody know everybody in the film business around the world? None of us do. Our members have been engaged and really paying attention to talent that is everywhere, and that’s why we were able to achieve such terrific numbers this year. And we’re going to continue.

Jada Pinkett Smith who started the campaign must be smiling right now.

Here is the complete list of actors asked to join (note: writers, producers, casting directors and others were also invited so this list is not complete).


Mahershala Ali – “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Parts 1 and 2),” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Anthony Anderson – “The Departed,” “Hustle & Flow”

Adam Beach – “Suicide Squad,” “Flags of Our Fathers”

Kate Beckinsale – “Love & Friendship,” “The Aviator”

Chadwick Boseman – “Captain America: Civil War,” “Get on Up”

John Boyega – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Attack the Block”

Betty Buckley – “Wyatt Earp,” “Carrie”

Rose Byrne – “X-Men: First Class,” “Bridesmaids”

Julie Carmen – “The Milagro Beanfield War,” “Gloria”

Enrique Castillo – “Déjà Vu,” “Bound by Honor”

Morris Chestnut – “G.I. Jane,” “Boyz N the Hood”

Cliff Curtis – “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Training Day”

Loretta Devine – “Crash,” “I Am Sam”

Carmen Ejogo – “Selma,” “Sparkle”

Idris Elba – “Beasts of No Nation,” “Pacific Rim”

America Ferrera – “Cesar Chavez,” “End of Watch”

Vivica A. Fox – “Kill Bill,” “Independence Day”

Andrew Garfield – “99 Homes,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Greta Gerwig – “Frances Ha,” “To Rome with Love”

Jesse D. Goins – “The Ugly Truth,” “Patriot Games”

Bruce Greenwood – “Flight,” “Star Trek”

Carla Gugino – “Watchmen,” “Night at the Museum”

Luis Guzmán – “Punch-Drunk Love,” “Carlito’s Way”

Dennis Haysbert – “Dear White People,” “Wreck-It Ralph”

Tom Hiddleston – “Crimson Peak,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”

James Hong – “Safe,” “Mulan”

Oscar Isaac – “Ex Machina,” “A Most Violent Year”

O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson* – “Ride Along,” “Friday”

Dakota Johnson – “Black Mass,” “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Cherry Jones – “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” “Signs”

Michael B. Jordan – “Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”

Daniel Dae Kim – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” “Crash”

Regina King – “Ray,” “Jerry Maguire”

Brie Larson – “Room,” “Trainwreck”

Byung-Hun Lee – “Terminator Genisys,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”

Nia Long – “Keanu,” “Boyz N the Hood”

Sal Lopez – “The Astronaut Farmer,” “Full Metal Jacket”

Ignacio López Tarso – “Under the Volcano,” “Nazarin”

Patti LuPone – “Parker,” “Driving Miss Daisy”

Peter Mackenzie – “Trumbo,” “42”

Rachel McAdams – “Spotlight,” “Midnight in Paris”

Eva Mendes – “The Place beyond the Pines,” “Hitch”

Tatsuya Nakadai – “Ran,” “Kagemusha”

Adepero Oduye – “The Big Short,” “12 Years a Slave”

Marisa Paredes – “The Skin I Live In,” “All About My Mother”

Nate Parker – “Beyond the Lights,” “Red Tails”

Harold Perrineau – “Zero Dark Thirty,” “28 Weeks Later”

Jorge Perugorría – “Che,” “Strawberry and Chocolate”

Silvia Pinal – “Vintage Model,” “The Exterminating Angel”

Freida Pinto – “Immortals,” “Slumdog Millionaire”

Michelle Rodriguez – “Avatar,” “Girlfight”

Anika Noni Rose – “For Colored Girls,” “Dreamgirls”

Cecilia Roth – “Lucia Lucia,” “All about My Mother”

Mark Rylance – “Bridge of Spies,” “The Other Boleyn Girl”

Pepe Serna – “The Black Dahlia,” “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez”

Martin Starr – “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” “Adventureland”

Elizabeth Sung – “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The Joy Luck Club”

Sharmila Tagore – “Dhadkan,” “The World of Apu”

Tessa Thompson – “Creed,” “Dear White People”

Lorraine Toussaint – “Selma,” “Middle of Nowhere”

Glynn Turman – “Super 8,” “Men of Honor”

Gabrielle Union – “Top Five,” “Bad Boys II”

Jacob Vargas – “The 33,” “Jarhead”

Alicia Vikander – “The Danish Girl,” “Ex Machina”

Emma Watson – “The Bling Ring,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Damon Wayans Jr. – “Big Hero 6,” “Let’s Be Cops”

Marlon Wayans – “The Heat,” “Requiem for a Dream”

Rita Wilson – “It’s Complicated,” “Runaway Bride”

Daphne Zuniga – “Staying Together,” “Spaceballs”


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