A year and a half into its controversial diversity drive, the Academy has invited a record large class of 774 new members into its exclusive club. The giant Academy class of 2017 includes Dwayne Johnson, Kristen Stewart, Justin Timberlake, Betty White, Priyanka Chopra, and Joss Whedon, to name a few.
According to the Academy, the new class is 39% female, bringing women’s share of total Academy membership from 27% to 28%. Thirty percent of the new members are people of color, raising the representation of minorities in the Academy from 11% to 13%. International members hail from 57 different countries. The youngest new member is 19, the oldest 95.
This is the second class of new members the Academy has invited since the industry group announced new inclusion goals in 2016, after two years in a row of all white acting nominees inspired an outcry about lack of representation in the film industry.
To hit those goals, the Academy has expanded the size of its new classes dramaticallyover the last two years—if all of the 2017 invitees accept their invitations, the total membership of the academy will reach 8,427. Even before announcing the 2017 class, the Academy was already facing skeptics about its growth. “What is too big?” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, in an interview with Vanity FairWednesday. “People have said that to me. We’re not trying to be big. We’re trying to be inclusive. Because the industry is expanding. For a number of years we had a quota. That was then. As the entertainment business expands, we’re expanding too.”
More from: Vanity Fair