Minari star Steven Yeun, Promising Young Woman actor Laverne Cox and writer-director Emerald Fennell are among the 395 names invited to be Academy members this year. Those invited now have to accept in order to become part of the almost 10,000-strong group.
The annual list, down in size from usual years (last year saw 819 invites), represents another step forward for the group with regards to diversity. The names included are 46% female and 39% from under-represented racial groups. The list is also 53% international, with 49 countries outside of the US represented.
“To enable steady future growth and to ensure the necessary infrastructure, staff resources and environment to support all Academy members, the number invited to membership was limited to roughly half that of recent years,” the Academy said in a statement.
This step towards diversity follows the 2021 Oscars’ historic wins that saw Daniel Kaluuya become the first British black actor to take home an award, Yeun as the first Korean acting winner and Chloé Zhao as the first woman of colour to win Best Director.
The Academy’s website states that ‘Academy membership is limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures.’ Each year, applicants are sponsored by current Academy members and Oscar nominees are automatically considered for membership.
This week also saw the Academy officially approving new changes to next year’s awards. From now on, the list of best pictures will be set at 10 rather than the recent rule that nominees can end up being anywhere between 5 and 10. Also, no more than 5 songs a film may be entered for consideration.