*The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given out 774 invitations to new members, with 30 percent representing people of color and women making up 39 percent, the Oscar-granting group announced Wednesday.
After the 2015 #OscarsSoWhite embarrassment, the Academy has made a concerted effort to diversify its membership ranks by bringing in more minorities, women and filmmakers from around the world.
Sanaa Lathan, Barry Jenkins, Leslie Jones, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Wanda Sykes, Janelle Monae, Zoë Kravitz, Dwayne Johnson, Maya Rudolph, Omar Sy, Anna Deavere Smith and recent Oscar nominees Naomie Harris and Ruth Negga are among the new invited members this year.
Also, Terry Crews of “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” Aldis Hodge of “Underground” and “Atlanta” star Donald Glover join sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad in receiving 2017 invitations.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, an Oscar nominee for his song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana and singer-songwriter Nick Cave (Hell or High Water), made the cut as well.
Seven of the Academy branches — actors, casting directors, costume designers, documentary, executives and film editors — invited more women then men.
At the beginning of 2016, the Academy’s 6,261 voting members were approximately 92 percent white and 75 percent male. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is just completing four one-year terms as president and will be stepping down next month since that is the maximum number of successive terms an Academy president can served, backed by the board of governors, vowed that the organization would double its number of women and diverse members by 2020. In order to meet that goal, the Academy has stepped up the number of new members it invites each year.