In the fourth year of its drive to diversify membership, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences invited 842 new members to join its ranks. The music branch extended 28 of those invitations, including to such top names as Adele, Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson.
The Academy said that 50% of those invited are women and that 29% are people of color. The Academy further noted that invitations were extended to people from 59 countries.
This is the fourth year in a row in which the Academy has invited more than 600 new members to join its ranks. It invited 683 new members in 2016, 774 in 2017 and 928 in 2018. By contrast, it invited just 322 new members in 2015.
In both 2015 and 2016, all of the nominees in the four acting categories were white, leading to the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag campaign and Oscar boycott calls and prompting the Academy’s aggressive membership outreach.
At the 91st annual Academy Awards on Feb. 24, Universal’s Green Book won best picture. The choice was criticized in some quarters as not woke, especially against such rival nominees as Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman.
The music branch extended invitations to five people who received their first Oscar nominations this past year: Ludwig Goransson (who won best original score for Black Panther), Ronson and Andrew Wyatt (who won best song for co-writing “Shallow” from A Star Is Born), Scott Wittman (nominated for best song for co-writing “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns) and Jason Ruder (nominated for sound mixing for A Star Is Born).
The music branch also issued new invitations to three past winners or nominees (who would already have been eligible to join): Gaga, who was first nominated for best song four years ago for “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground; Adele, who won the 2012 best song award for “Skyfall” from Skyfall; and Annie Lennox, who won the 2003 best song award for “Into the West” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Gaga received two more noms this year, both for A Star Is Born: best actress and best song. She won in the latter category and was invited to join the Academy by both branches.
Ten branches invited more women than men to join this year; the music branch was not among them.
Next year’s Oscars will air live on ABC on Feb. 9, an earlier date than usual.
The Recording Academy has followed the motion picture academy’s lead in trying to diversify its membership. But, unlike the film academy, the Recording Academy doesn’t release the names of the people it has invited.
Here are the 28 people who were asked to join the Academy by the music branch, together with their key credits (provided by the Academy).
Michael Abels – Us, Get Out
Adele Adkins – Skyfall
Nathan Barr – The House with a Clock in Its Walls, The Last Exorcism
Kris Bowers – Green Book, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Missy Cohen – Hold the Dark, The Informant!
Jane Antonia Cornish – Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
John Finklea – Vice, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Annette Focks – Ostwind, Krabat
Richard Ford – Downsizing, Hidden Figures
Ludwig Goransson – Black Panther, Creed
Rupert Gregson-Williams – Aquaman, Hacksaw Ridge
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Mary Magdalene, Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Jed Kurzel – The Mustang, The Babadook
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born, The Hunting Ground
Bryan Lawson – Robin Hood, Suicide Squad
Annie Lennox – A Private War, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Peter Stephen Myles – Jason Bourne, Pacific Rim
Anne Nikitin – American Animals, The Imposter
Heitor Teixeira Pereira – Smallfoot, Real Women Have Curves
Arthur Pingrey – Jim: The James Foley Story, Racing Extinction
Mark Ronson – A Star Is Born, Quincy
Jason Ruder – A Star Is Born, La La Land
Roxanne Joy Seeman – Get on the Bus, Little Monsters
John Charles Edward Swihart – The Education of Charlie Banks, Napoleon Dynamite
Sherry Whitfield – The Zookeeper’s Wife, Easy A
Robin Whittaker – The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Amy
Scott Wittman – Mary Poppins Returns, When Harry Met Sally
Andrew Wyatt – A Star Is Born, Music and Lyrics