A new group of big Hollywood names have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year, in a move to diversify Oscars voting.
The Academy has invited 819 new members, including Zendaya, Eva Longoria, Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, John David Washington and Constance Wu.
Of the new invitees, 36 per cent are people of colour and 45 per cent are women. These members will have voting privileges at this year’s Oscars, reports The Guardian.
The announcement comes as the prestigious awards ceremony was called to increase its level of representation with regards to diversity.
The Academy announced last month that it would be expanding its Best Picture category to 10 films, in the hope that more diverse films will make the shortlist as a result.
The Academy is made up of more than 8,000 voting members - the majority of which are still white and male, although a 2018 study indicated that new additions increased diversity. People of colour made up 16 per cent of members that year, compared to just 8 per cent in 2015.
Next year's Oscars have been postponed for two months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled to take place on 28 February, the ceremony has now been pushed back to 25 April.
The eligibility window has also been extended beyond 31 December 2020 to the end of February. The pandemic has stopped the filming of a number of movies, and prevented many from being released - so the period for nominations has been lengthened to allow for this.
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