HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited more than 900 film professionals from 59 countries in its effort to meet its own pledge to remake the face of the Oscars by 2020.
A record-setting 928 invites were sent out, some to well-known celebrities and others to obscure names seen only in film credits. Previously, annual invitations were sent out with little to no fanfare, and quotas limited the number closer to 100 invitees.
This year’s invitees include newcomers like Tiffany Haddish of last year’s comedy “Girls Trip,” Daisy Ridley, who starred in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and Sofia Boutella, of “The Mummy” and “Atomic Blonde;” and Hollywood veterans like comedian Dave Chappelle, Jennifer Grey, who is best known for starring in “Dirty Dancing;” and Kyra Sedgwick, who was in the critically-acclaimed “The Edge of Seventeen.”
The 2018 class marks the Academy’s largest and most diverse ever. It ranges in age from 14-year-old actress Quevenzhan Wallis, who at 9 years old became the youngest-ever lead actress nominee, to 86-year-old Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina. This year’s class tops last year’s 774 new members, which itself was a leap over the previous year’s 684 invitees.
This year’s class is also 49 percent female and 38 percent people of color, expanding the membership of the institution behind the Oscars to more than 9,200. In just three years, the academy has grown by more than 25 percent, dramatically reshaping the 90-year-old organization, though not without generating controversy among its ranks.
The increasingly diverse slate of Academy invitees follows years of outcry over the Oscars’ back-to-back, all-white slates of acting nominees. In 2016, the academy publicly pledged to double the number of women and minorities among its members by 2020.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)