Idris Elba, Tina Fey, Emma Watson among 'diverse' new members of the Academy

Idris Elba, Tina Fey, Emma Watson and John Boyegaare among the new Oscars committee members selected in an effort to increase diversity. The Academy focussed its efforts on ethnic minorities and women this year, issuing a record 683 new invitations on Wednesday (June 29) - 41% of which went to people of colour while 46% of the new invitees are women.

The new list demonstrates the impact of last year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy. For the second year in a row, all the acting nominees at the 88th Academy Awards were white, sparking a huge outcry and leading to a debate about racial inequality in the film industry.


Idris Elba
Idris Elba was among those invited to join the Academy this year

Soon afterwards, the Academy agreed to a shake-up of its membership - traditionally seen as old, white and male - to bring in more women and members of ethnic minorities.

Shortly after the list was announced, Star Wars star John tweeted his gratitude at being invited to join the Academy, saying it was "always a blessing to be one of the many Oscar voters that will hopefully spark change". Ugly Betty star America Ferrera also thanked the institution, tweeting that it was a great chance to "create opportunities" for others.

The class of 2016 includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees. Of the new invitees, 283 are considered international members, representing 59 countries.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, has pledged to increase diversity

Recent Oscar winners on the list include Room star Brie Larson, The Danish Girl's Alicia Vikander, and Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance, and several names overlooked in the last round of Oscars nominations also made the cut – including Beasts of No Nation's Idris and Creed star Michael B Jordan.

This year's list is almost double that of 2015's 322 invitations, which was also an increase on the 271 invited to join in 2014, according to the Hollywood Reporter. There are currently more than 6,000 members of the Academy, and that figure is dominated by white males over the age of 60; according to the institution, its membership was 75% male and 92% white before the inclusion of this year's invitees.

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