The Academy announced on Wednesday that it's inviting 774 new members - a record-breaking number - including Australia's Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Cave and Cate Shortland.
By
reuters.com

Source:
Reuters
29 Jun 2017 - 10:49 AM  UPDATED 29 Jun 2017 - 10:49 AM

It marks the second year in a row that the institution has broken its own record; last year, it set a new high-water mark by inviting 683 new members.

Among the high-profile actors newly invited to the Academy are Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, Moonlight Oscar nominee Naomie Harris, Donald Glover, Riz Ahmed, Adam Driver, Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra, Leslie Jones, Betty White, Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Channing Tatum, Kristen Stewart, Shailene Woodley, Ruth Negga, and Rupert Grint.

Australians invited include actors Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, Rebel Wilson and Joel Edgerton, as well as directors Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore, Berlin Syndrome), Jocelyn Moorhouse (Proof, The Dressmaker), Garth Davis (Lion) and Tanna's team of Martin Butler and Bentley Dean. The latest additions also include screenwriters Luke Davies (Lion) and John Collee (Master and Commander), composers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Hell or High Water, The Proposition), makeup artists Rick Findlater (The Hobbit) and Shane Thomas (Hacksaw Ridge), set decorator Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby), documentarian Eva Orner (Chasing Asylum), visual effects specialist Brian Cox (The Wolverine) and sound engineer Guntis Sics (Moulin Rouge).

Directors invited to join the new class include Moonlight best-picture winner Barry Jenkins, Get Out's Jordan Peele, Suicide Squad's" David Ayer, Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures), and the Russo brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

The new class, representing 57 countries, is 39% female, the Academy notes. This marks an uptick from the previous 28%, and the 27% in 2016. Seven of the branches -- actors, casting directors, costume designers, designers, documentary, executives, and film editors -- invited more women than men this year.

Additionally, people of color make up 30% of the new class -- a significant statistic following the #OscarsSoWhite protest that made waves in 2016. According to the Academy's announcement, there has been a 331% increase of people of color invited to join the Academy from 2015-2017.

The Academy has vowed to make its membership better reflect the world demographics, after many years of criticism that women, racial minorities and international artists were under-represented. As a result, the number of new-member invitations has risen steadily.

For the years between 2004 and 2012, the average was 133. In 2013, that doubled, to 276; in 2014, it was 271. There was another big jump in 2015, when 322 invitations went out, and last year, when the Academy hit a record 683. As of January, there were 6,687 voting members of AMPAS.

See the full list of 2017 invitees here.