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The Motion Picture Academy invites big names to its Oscar roster

The Motion Picture Academy invites big names to its Oscar roster
Janet Jackson performs at Treasure Island Resort & Casino on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo credit: Nagashia Jackson)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been working diligently to include more minorities among its numbers after the infamous #OscarsSoWhite of 2016.

The voting body of the annual Academy Awards invited nearly 400 stars from a variety of occupations to join its ranks, including Janet Jackson, Issa Rae, Kenya Barris, Andra Day, Laverne Cox, Jurnee Smolett, Twilight saga superstar Robert Pattinson and others.

The Oscars have been under fire in recent years for their conspicuous absence of critically-acclaimed films, soundtracks and actors from minority communities.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the demographics of the 395 invitees break down like this: 46 percent women, 39 percent minorities and 53 percent artists from 49 countries. Of the entire list, 89 are former Oscar nominees, including 25 winners.

What is notable is that the list of 395 invitees is dramatically down from the 895 invitees in the previous year. The Motion Picture Academy explained its decision on the sharp decline.

“To enable steady future growth and to ensure the necessary infrastructure, staff resources and environment to support all Academy members, the number invited to membership was limited to roughly half that of recent years.”

The invitees come from a wide variety of industries affiliated with moviemaking, including directors, producers, studio heads, cinematographers, film festival directors, singers and songwriters.

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