Facing criticism about its overwhelmingly older, male, and white membership and increasingly vocal concerns about the film industry’s ongoing diversity problem, the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Science, the honorary organization responsible for awarding the Oscars, has responded by… well, trying to add seemingly goddamn everyone it had, for one reason or another, forgotten to invite into its membership. As part of a major overhaul, the Academy sent out an unprecedented 683 membership invitations today to film industry professionals, almost half of them women, and 41% of them people of color.
The invitation list is a who’s who of Hollywood mainstays who were inexplicably not Academy members, international heavyweights, and big-deal up-and-comers. A large part of the push seems to have come on the director front, a seemingly endless scroll of invited directors that includes Catherine Breillat, Park Chan-wook, Lucrecia Martel, Julia Loktev, Abbas Kiarostami, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Karyn Kusama, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Mary Harron, Mia Hansen-Løve, Lynne Ramsay, the Wachowskis, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, James Wan, Maren Ade, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Souleymane Cissé, Patty Jenkins, So Yong Kim, Ryan Coogler, Ramin Bahrani, and a whole lot of other people who aren’t older white dudes. (Ken Loach was also invited.)
The list of acting invitees includes Luis Guzmán, Adam Beach, Kate Beckinsale, Morris Chestnut, Idris Elba, Bruce Greenwood, Oscar Isaac, James Hong, Tessa Thompson, Greta Gerwig, Alicia Vikander, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Hiddleston, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Eva Mendes, Vivica A. Fox, and Ice Cube. The whole mind-bogglingly long list can be read here, and includes three Wayans brothers.