In a recent announcement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its fresh roster of members, featuring famous names from the showbiz world, including global music sensations Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. As the foremost institution of Hollywood’s film industry, the Academy’s single annual round of invitations is highly anticipated and marks a significant achievement in the careers of invitees, who will now have voting rights on who secures the prestigious Oscars.
The Academy, better known as the primary custodian of the Oscars, has warmly welcomed 398 new members this year, an impressive half of the count from recent years. This reduction in invitees is a calculated response to a highly publicized campaign to amplify the presence of women and non-white members within the Academy’s ranks, a move initiated after a vehement social media outcry under the banner of #OscarsSoWhite. The Academy had been under fire due to an apparent lack of diversity, leading to calls to boycott the lavish Oscars ceremony.
The new inductees’ demographic breakdown reinforces the Academy’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Of the 2023 class, 40 percent identify as women, while 34 percent belong to underrepresented racial and ethnic communities. Furthermore, a staggering 52 percent of these new members hail from 50 different countries and territories outside the United States.
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The inclusion of Swift and The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, in the Academy, has been seen as a celebration of their contributions to the world of cinema through their music. Swift’s song ‘Carolina’ has been featured in the movie ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, and The Weeknd’s ‘Nothing is Lost (You Give Me Strength)’ is part of ‘Avatar: Way of Water’s’ soundtrack.
Another noteworthy inclusion in this new crop of Academy members is the duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who directed the seven-time Oscar-winning film, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’.
The Academy, currently boasting over 10,000 members, holds the power to shape the film industry’s future by influencing the recipients of the esteemed Oscars. The next Oscar ceremony is scheduled for March 10, 2024. This news is based on information provided by the Malay Mail website.