TV & Movies

Zendaya & Awkwafina Among 819 Artists, a Third of Whom Are People of Color, Invited to Join the Academy


A new group of voting members are further diversifying the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Awkwafina, Zendaya, Ryan Murphy, Cynthia Erivo, Matthew Cherry, Constance Wu, John David Washington, Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde are just a few of the new 819 artists who were invited to join the Academy on Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Out of the overall number, 36 percent of those invited are people of color, while 45 percent are women and 49 percent are based outside of the U.S., THR reported.

In a statement obtained by the outlet, Academy President David Rubin said, “The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now.”

Roma star Yalitza Aparicio, Zazie Beetz, Bobby Cannavale, Ana de Armas, Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Tim McGraw, Natasha Lyonne, Eva Longoria, Niecy Nash and Thomasin McKenzie are also among those invited.

This is the latest step in the Academy’s push to diversify its membership since #OscarsSoWhite made headlines.

In June, the Academy announced it was launching the second phase of its equity and inclusion initiative, called Academy Aperture 2025.

The phase will include the creation of a task force “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020,” according to a press release obtained by PEOPLE at the time.

The Academy will also guarantee 10 Best Picture nominees beginning with the 2021 Oscars, a difference from the current system, which allows the Best Picture nominee pool to include anywhere from five to 10 films.

Academy members will also be able to view films released year-round through the Academy’s streaming site, the Academy Screening Room, giving films more “exposure, level the playing field, and ensure all eligible films can be seen by voting members.”

Unconscious bias training will also be made mandatory for all Academy governors, executive committee members and staff, while its more than 9,000 members will have the opportunity to participate.

A series of panels, "Academy Dialogue: It Starts With Us," will also be introduced to touch on topics such as race, ethnicity, history, opportunity and filmmaking.

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