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#OscarsSoWhite No More? Academy Invites 683 New Members

46% of invitees are women, 41% are people of color
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2016 6:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Apparently still smarting from some of Chris Rock's Oscars barbs, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 683 people—many of them women and minorities—to join in an unprecedented move Wednesday, Reuters reports. The voting group behind the Oscars is largely old, white, and male and was lambasted this year with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite after two years in a row of all-white acting nominees. In response, the academy is attempting to—as the AV Club puts it—" add seemingly goddamn everyone it had, for one reason or another, forgotten to invite into its membership.” The actors, directors, and others invited Wednesday include Idris Elba, Eva Mendes, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Ice Cube, Greta Gerqig, Michael B. Jordan, Vivica A. Fox, the Wachowskis, James Wan, Luis Guzmán, Kate Beckinsale, Park Chan-wook, James Hong, Michelle Rodriguez, and not one, not two, but three Wayans brothers.

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Of the new invitees, 46% are women and 41% are people of color. If all 683 accept their invite, women would account for 27% of the more than 7,000 academy members (up from 25%) and minorities would total 11% (up from 8%). “I'm especially happy to be part of such a diverse group. I actually want to hang out and watch movies with most of the people on this list," Arab-German director Lexi Alexander tells the Los Angeles Times. “To be honest, I cried a few tears when I started to get congratulation tweets in Arabic.” Other invitees took to Twitter to share similar sentiments. “Excited to use my vote to nominate talent that reflects the real world we live in—DIVERSITY," tweets Brie Larson, who won best actress at this year's Oscars. (Read more Oscars stories.)

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