Last year and the year before, the Oscars faced criticism over not nominating enough actors and directors of color, much of which was channeled through the trending Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. This year, the Oscars are setting out to correct this by inviting more women and people of color to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars.
683 invitations—more than twice the amount of people invited last year—were sent out, with 46 percent of invitees being women and 41 percent being people of color, per The New York Daily News. Some of those invited included Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Ice Cube (Straight Outta Compton), according to an Academy announcement made on Wednesday.
The Academy currently is made up of 92 percent white and 75 percent male members. If all of these new invitations are accepted, the demographic will shift to being 89 percent white and 73 percent male. Last year, the Oscars nominated only white actors for the major acting categories, despite highly rated films with black leads like Straight Outta Compton, Concussion, Creed and Beasts Of No Nation being released. Mexican The Revenant director Alejandro G. Iñárritu was also the only non-white nominee for best director, which he won.
Though this move signals a positive change, there is still much more work for the Academy to do to reach its goal of doubling its female and minority membership by 2020.