Steven Yeun, Nathan Lane, Issa Rae, Eiza González, Robert Pattinson, Janet Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Laverne Cox are among the artists invited this year to be part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The organization that awards the Oscars said Thursday that 395 film industry professionals, 46% of them women and 39% from underrepresented groups, have been invited to join its ranks in 2021.
If they accept, which the majority does, they will have the privilege of voting at next year’s Oscars.
New guests include this year’s nominees Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), as well as winners like Yuh – “Minari” Jung Youn, “Mank” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, HER singer / songwriter and “Promising Young Woman” screenwriter Emerald Fennell.
Fennell was also invited to the directors branch along with 2021 nominee Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”). Those guests in multiple branches must choose one to which they want to belong.
A recent Oscar nomination does not guarantee an invitation, but it is a starting point for selecting artists and executives, such as Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., who have made significant contributions to film.
Other guest stars are 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 “), and Jonathan Majors (” Da 5 Bloods “).
Guest conductors include 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 remain a priority for the film academy and, in addition to the relatively large number of invited women and underrepresented groups, the group is also very international. More than half of the guests come from countries other than the United States.
The number of guests also dropped dramatically this year in an effort for “steady future growth.” In recent years, the organization had invited groups of around 800 or more people annually to help quickly diversify its ranks following criticism from #OscarsSoWhite (#OscarTanBlanco). With this new group, the Academy said its total membership now includes 33% female and 19% under-represented groups.
The Academy has said that it remains committed to broadening its own perspective for years to come.