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The Academy Awards Just Got A Lot Cooler And More Inclusive

By Kristy Puchko | Film | June 26, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | June 26, 2018 |


It was just two years ago that the Academy Awards faced criticism for its lack of diversity (#OscarsSoWhite). The LA Times reported that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts was overwhelmingly white (91%) and male (76%). But since then, The Academy has made efforts to become more diverse. Later that year, 683 artists were invited to join, including Mahershala Ali, John Boyega, Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, Byung-Hun Lee, Michelle Rodriguez, Lana and Lily Wachowski, and Taika Waititi. In 2017, the Academy set a new record for invites with 774, offering membership to Donald Glover, Riz Ahmed, Dwayne Johnson, Kristen Stewart, Betty White and Amy Poehler. But this year’s invite list blows last year’s record-breaking number out of the water. 928 artists (actors, directors, costume designers, cinematographers, editors, musicians and more) have been invited to join the illustrious Academy.

THR reports that 49% of the invitees are female, and 38% are people of color. If all of these accept the invitation to join, this would up the overall percentage of women in the Academy to 31% and people of color to 16%. Among the invited are recent Oscar nominees like Call Me by Your Name’s Timothee Chalamet and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya. Below, we’ve highlighted some other thrilling could-be additions to the Academy. You can see the full list at THR.


Alison Brie might be best known for her TV roles on Community, Mad Men or GLOW. But remember, she also appeared in two Academy Award-nominated films last year, The Disaster Artist and The Post. Other notable TV stars invited this year: Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andre Braugher, The Simpsons’ Julie Kavner, Harry Shearer, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria, Broad City’s Hannibal Buress, Veep’s Anna Chlumsky, Deadwood’s Kim Dickens, Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke, Pedro Pascal and Lena Heady, and stand-ups Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer.


Olivia Colman can do anything. She’s all over British television, delivering scathing comedy on Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, then soul-scorching drama on Broadchurch. In film, she dove to a new level of darkness with the deeply bleak Tyarannasaur, then brought a zany, unhinged humor to the tragicomedy The Lobster. That’s she’s not better known in the US is a cultural crime. But upside, she’ll now have the ability to weigh in on American cinema’s biggest annual event. Other storied and sensational actresses that have finally gotten the Oscar invite include Christine Baranski, Ann Dowd, Dale Dickey, Celia Imrie, and Penelope Wilton.


Tiffany Haddish was a dark horse possibility for the Best Supporting Actress race last year. While she was snubbed of that honor, the Girls Trip scene-stealer scored the invite nonetheless, along with co-stars Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith. (Queen Latifah would likely have been offered a spot after her 2003 nomination for Chicago.)


Pajiba’s favorite celebrity couple, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, got invites, thanks to their Academy Award-nominated adapted screenplay for The Big Sick!


Along with Chalamet, the Academy welcomed a slew of ingenues and ingendudes, like Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin, Mirror Mirror’s Lily Collins, The Great Gatsby’s Elizabeth Debicki, Set It Up’s Zoey Deutch, Fruitvale Station’s Melonie Diaz, Kingsmen: The Secret Service’s Taron Egerton and Sofia Boutella, Cinderella’s Lily James, The Big Sick’s Zoe Kazan, The Handmaiden’s Kim Min-hee, Kick-Ass’s Chloë Grace Moretz, Goon’s Alison Pill, Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori, Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Daisy Ridley, Blue Is The Warmest Color’s Léa Seydoux, Everything Everything’s Amandla Stenberg (above), Atonement’s Juno Temple, and Beasts of Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis.


Imagine Ocean’s 8 is getting a big, awesome sequel that demands a lot of charismatic, take-no-shit women. Then imagine the Academy invited all of them to join at once. Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Melanie Lynskey, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Grey, Evan Rachel Wood, Danai Gurira, and —just in time for the kick off of Pajiba 10 season!—Eva Green have all been invited to the Academy. They all deserve it. Yet I worry. Can Oscar’s red carpet even handle all the fashion about to come their way?


In the directors category, there’s some surprising additions in that Amelie’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Michel Gondry weren’t already in the Academy. Other exciting new could-be members include The Florida Project’s Sean Baker, Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino, Rafiki’s Wanuri Kahiu, It’s Andy Muschietti, Dear White People’s Justin Simien, and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’s Angela Robinson!


Kelly Fremon Craig won praise for her searing yet hilarious coming-of-age comedy Edge of Seventeen, and now she’s got the chance to join the Academy along with screenwriters Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower) Michael Green (Logan), Joachim Trier (Thelma), Virgil Williams (Mudbound), Jeong Seo-kyeong (The Handmaiden), and…J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Johnny Depp Grindelwald.

With over 900 invitees, there’s way more we couldn’t include on this round-up. Who did we leave off that thrills you? Which of the above invitees are you most stoked to see join?