Several famous Australians, including Lachlan and James Murdoch and actress Rose Byrne, have been invited to join one of the world’s most illustrious clubs.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday it was recruiting a record 683 new members to try to diversify its largely male and white membership.
A furore erupted in January when the academy announced its nominees for February’s awards ceremony and for the second straight year black actors were snubbed.
The academy went global in its new search, with at least 13 of the 283 international invitees Australian, although most were white.
Joining the Murdochs and Byrne on the list are horror film director James Wan and the large contingent of Australian crew members who won Oscars this year for their work on George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.
They include production designers Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson, editor Margaret Sixel, make-up and hairstyling artist Lesley Vanderwalt, sound mixer Ben Osmo, sound editor David White and visual effects expert Tom Wood. Australian make-up artist Dave Elsey, who won the Oscar in 2011 for The Wolfman, and cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, also received invites, along with Kiwis Cliff Curtis and Taika Waititi.
The academy’s membership is 90 per cent white and 75 per cent male. Of the 683 new invitees, 46 per cent are female and 41 per cent are people of colour. With the addition of the new members being invited, the academy’s female membership will rise from 25 per cent to 27 per cent and for people of colour from eight per cent to 11 per cent.
“We’re proud to welcome these new members to the academy, and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership,” academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said.
Other new members include Anthony Anderson, Regina King, America Ferrara, Marlon Wayans, Rachel McAdams, Kate Beckinsale, Tom Hiddleston, Alicia Vikander and Mark Rylance.
3 July 2016 admin Comment News