Academy claims success with membership diversity goals

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The US Academy has achieved its goal of doubling the number of female members and those from under-represented ethnical and racial groups in the last four years, the organisation said as it announced the latest list of invitees on Tuesday (June 30).

The 819 people invited to join from all areas of the film industry include Cannes head Thierry Fremaux, Cynthia Erivo, Florence Pugh, Atlantics director Mati Diop, Les Misérables director Ladj Ly, and Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf.

Directors Lulu Wang and Wash Westmoreland have been invited, as have producers Tarak Ben Ammar (Black Gold), Pippa Harris (1917), Jessica Elbaum (Booksmart), Bénédicte Couvreur (Portrait Of A Lady On Fire), Zeynep Özbatur Atakan (The Wild Pear Tree), Sierra/Affinity president Jonathan Kier, and PR and marketing mavens Charles McDonald and Maxine Leonard.

The latest class comprises 45% women, 36% people from under-represented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% people from 68 countries outside the US. Those who accept the invitations – it is rare that anybody declines – will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2020.

The Academy said the numbers have reached inclusion goals established in 2016 as part of the A2020 initiative overseen by head of member relations and awards Lorenza Muñoz to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020.

The composition of Tuesday’s invitees means that since 2015 the number of active women members will have climbed from 1,446 to 3,179, more than double the number and a gain of just under 33% from 25% of overall membership to 33%.

The number of members from under-represented ethnic/racial communities will have more than tripled from 554 to 1,787. The four-year gain is nearly 100%, from 10% of overall membership to 19%.

International membership has grown by 191% from 724 to 2,107 and acounts for 22.17% of overall membership.

The Academy recently announced the next phase of its equity and inclusion initiative, Academy Aperture 2025. Academy CEO Dan Hudson said while the increases were a source of pride, there was a long road ahead. “We are committed to staying the course,” said Hudson.

According to Academy data seven branches invited more women than men: actors, casting directors, costume designers, documentary, executives, make-up and hairstyle, and marketing and PR.

Five invited the majority of people from under-represented ethnic/racial communities: actors, casting directors, directors, music, and producers.

Thirteen invited the majority of people from outside the US: actors, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, film editors, make-up and hairstyle, music, producers, short films and feature animation, visual effects, and writers.

To see the full list of invitees click here.

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