Lady Gaga among surge in new female members to join Oscars body

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 02 2019 05:05 AM


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LOS ANGELES, United States—Half of the 842 people invited to join the organization that awards the Oscars are women, the body said Monday, with Lady Gaga among those to be admitted this year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issues a round of invitations annually, and has significantly boosted its female and ethnic intake in recent times due to criticism over its mainly white, male membership.

Invitations to the likes of Claire Foy, Elisabeth Moss and Gaga, who won a best original song statuette for "A Star Is Born," will bring the overall proportion of female members to 32 percent, from one-quarter in 2015.

It is the first time an annual intake has reached 50 percent female, organizers told AFP.

Among the latest batch of members, just below one-third are people of color, meaning non-white membership will have doubled since 2015—albeit from a low bar of just 8 percent.

The recruits include "Crazy Rich Asians" director Jon Chu, "Roma" actress Marina de Tavira, and "Black Panther" cast members Sterling K. Brown and Letitia Wright.

Newcomers span multiple generations, from British 23-year-old "Spider-Man" star Tom Holland to legendary French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, 88.

In the world of music, singers Adele and Annie Lennox and producer Mark Ronson are among those selected for their work on movie scores. 

The Academy has drastically increased its overall intake numbers in a bid to rapidly redress gender and ethnic imbalances since the viral social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite in 2016.

The overall size of the Academy was traditionally capped at around 6,000 members, but will shoot comfortably above 9,000 with the latest inductees. 

The number of new members was slightly down on last year's 928, but still the second-largest in the Academy's history.

Some 21 Oscar winners join the ranks this year, with new members drawn from 59 countries. Those invited to join tend to accept.