Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, director Deepa Mehta, and Slumdog Millionaire actress Frieda Pinto have reportedly been invited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to become members of the Academy.
After the Academy drew flak for the Oscars this year for the lack of diversity in its nominations, the invitation is now being looked at as a bid to boost a large and diverse class among its new members.
The Academy had reportedly invited a record of 683 members out of which 46% are women and a total of 41% comprising ‘people of colour’. Bearing in mind the trending hashtag from last year, #OscarSoWhite, and the need for having a diverse group, the Academy had vowed to make ‘radical changes‘, doubling the new class of members from last year’s 322 invitees.
In addition to Tagore, Pinto, and Mehta, British filmmaker of Indian origin and winner of Best Documentary Feature Oscar for Amy last year, Asif Kapadia will also be featured in this year’s class of new members. Other notable people of Indian-origin in this year’s class are animators Sanjay Bakshi from Pixar, Sanjay Patel, and producer Anish Savjani.
On the Hollywood front, Star Wars actor John Boyega, English actor Idris Elba, rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube, and Emma Watson will be new members this year.
Photo credits: Official Wikipedia pages and Twitter account.