Taylor Swift, Ke Huy Quan, Paul Mescal among those invited to join the Academy

Taylor Swift, Ke Huy Quan, Paul Mescal among those invited to join the Academy

Oscar-winning directors The Daniels are also among the 398 artists and executives invited to join the Academy this year

Taylor Swift, Oscar-winning actor Ke Huy Quan, best picture directors the Daniels (Kwan and Scheinert) and actors such as Keke Palmer, Paul Mescal and Austin Butler are among the 398 artists and entertainment executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization announced on Wednesday.

The list of invitees to join the Oscar-dispensing group also includes controversial Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav; Netflix chief content officer Bela Bajaria, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne; Nobel prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro; and actors including Nicholas Hoult, Selma Blair, Bill Hader, Banshees of Inisherin star Kerry Condon, and Everything Everywhere All At Once nominee Stephanie Hsu.

“The Academy is proud to welcome these artists and professionals into our membership,” the Academy CEO, Bill Kramer, and its president, Janet Yang, said in a statement.

“They represent extraordinary global talent across cinematic disciplines and have made a vital impact on the arts and sciences of motion pictures and on movie fans worldwide.”

The 2023 list is still roughly half of what it’s been in years prior – there were 819 invitees – owing to efforts within the Academy to retool membership efforts and requirements toward under-represented and minority groups.

The invitees list was halved in 2021, according to an Academy statement at the time, to “enable steady future growth and to ensure the necessary infrastructure, staff resources and environment to support all Academy members”.

Of the 2023 invitees, 34% belong to an under-represented racial or ethnic community, including the majority of invitees to the actors and directors branches.

About 40% identify as women, and 52% are from 50 countries and territories outside the US.

If all 398 invitees accept their bid to join the Academy, the organization’s total number of voting members will reach 9,375 – 34% female, 18% non-white and 20% non-American.

Eight individuals – this year’s best directors The Daniels, plus fellow directors Colm Bairéad, Edward Berger, Antonio Campos, Lukas Dhont, Ana Katz and Santiago Mitre – were invited to join multiple of the Academy’s 18 branches, and will need to pick one upon acceptance.

The invitations come nearly two months after the Academy announced its “most significant overhaul” of rules around campaigning for Oscars in the organization’s history, following the controversial nomination of Andrea Riseborough for best actress, after a guerrilla marketing campaign saw celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow advocate for Riseborough’s performance in To Leslie, a low-budget indie, on social media.

The changes included new rules around private events where voting members are present, a change to the number of official “hosted screenings” and more stringent guidelines for social media;

Academy members now cannot use social media to “encourage or discourage members to vote for any motion picture, performance, or achievement”.

The 2022 Oscars, hosted in March in Los Angeles, marked a major victory for Asian-American representation, as the most-nominated film of the night, Everything Everywhere All At Once, swept almost all the major awards – best picture, original screenplay, editing and director, as well as best supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan, best supporting actress for Jamie Lee Curtis and best actress for Michelle Yeoh.

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