Oscars invite Steven Yeun, Issa Rae, others to join Academy


Steven Yeun, Nathan Lane, Issa Rae, Robert Pattinson, Janet Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Laverne Cox are among the artists being invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The organization that puts on the Oscars said Thursday that 395 film industry professionals, 46% of whom are women and 39% from an underrepresented group, have been invited to join the 2021 class. If they accept, which most do, they will have voting privileges at next year’s Oscars.

New invitees from this year’s Oscar nominees include Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), as well winners like “Minari’s” Yuh-Jung Youn, “Mank” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, singer-songwriter H.E.R. and “Promising Young Woman” writer Emerald Fennell.

Fennell was also invited to the director’s branch alongside fellow 2021 nominee Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”). Those invited in multiple branches must decide which they want to join.

A recent Oscar nomination doesn’t guarantee an invite, but it is a starting point for selecting artists and executives, like Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek, who have made significant contributions to film.

Other acting invitees include Carrie Coon (“The Nest”), Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami…”), Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians), Clea DuVall (“Zodiac”), Hugh Bonneville (“Paddington 2”), Stephen Root (“Office Space”), Eiza González (“Baby Driver”) and Jonathan Majors (“Da 5 Bloods”).

Among the directors invited are Lizzie Borden (“Born in Flames”), George C. Wolfe (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Janizca Bravo (“Zola”), Shaka King (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Nia DaCosta (“Candyman”), Cathy Yan (“Birds of Prey”), Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”) and Jonathan Glazer (“Under the Skin”).

Diversity and inclusion continue to be a main priority for the film academy and, in addition to the relatively large numbers of women and underrepresented groups invited, it’s also a very international class. Over half of the invitees are from countries other than the United States.

The number of invitees also dropped steeply this year in an effort to, “steady future growth.” In the past few years the organization had invited classes of around 800 new members or more annually to help quickly diversify its ranks following the #OscarsSoWhite criticisms. With this new class, the Academy said its total membership is now 33% women and 19% underrepresented groups.

The Academy has said it remains committed to broadening its own lens over the next few years.

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