It looks like the Academy is finally getting the message when it comes to its longstanding issues with diversity. On the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite movement that emerged on social media several years back and Halle Berry’s more recent comments about her disappointment over the lack of changes made since her historic Oscar Best Actress win, the Academy has taken a significantly progressive and historic step forward by asking a massive and widely diverse group to join its elite ranks of Oscars voters.
Included in the whopping 766 estimated movie professionals (exact numbers vary by source) that received a nod from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were the Israeli-born Gal Gadot, black actor Jordan Peele, Kristen Stewart, who identifies as gay, and many other names that would potentially help the Academy broaden its horizons.
Though they made an effort to improve nominations last year with nods to several people of color, (a huge improvement when compared to the year prior, which included not a single nomination), it still had a long way to go toward fixing the problem. Not only were the roles for which people of color acknowledged largely stereotypical, but the Academy itself remained largely white.
Now, it appears they’re sticking to their word with regard to its aim to double the number of both women and minorities who are represented. 2017 invitees included folks from across the industry — including executives, producers, directors, writers, costume designers, makeup artists and hairstylists, editors, cinematographers, musicians, casting directors, and plenty of others who bring magic to the screen from 57 different countries to help be decision-makers.
Should all of the invitees accept, the Academy would now be made up of 28 percent women and 13 percent POC. Not perfect, by any means, but still, a huge step forward for a nearly 100-year-old organization that has historically been very skewed.
Other notable names among the invitees include Priyanka Chopra, Riz Ahmed, Debbie Allen, Monica Bellucci, Terry Crews, and Donald Glover. Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint also earned an invite this time around, as did Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Chris Pratt, Dwayne Johnson, Betty White (!), SNL alums Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Rami Malek, Janelle Monae, and Anna Faris.
Hopefully, it’s a sign of BIG changes to come when the nominations and winners roll around.
What do you think about the fact that the Academy is attempting to become more diverse? Let us know @BritandCo!
(h/t LA Times; photos via Frazer Harrison + Jason Merritt + Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)