*It looks like the Academy has made moves to ensure that the catastrophic #OscarsSoWhite embarrassment of 2016 will never happen again.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just released its list of new invitees and was quick to tout it as the largest and most diverse new class ever.
Invitations went out to 683 artists, more than double the number invited in 2015, when the academy brought 322 members into the fold. Among the invited black actors are Dennis Haysbert, Chadwick Boseman, John Boyega, Morris Chestnut, Carmen Ejogo, Idris Elba, Vivica A. Fox, Ice Cube, Regina King, Michael B. Jordan, Adepero Oduye, Harold Perrineau, Anika Noni Rose, Glynn Turman, Marlon Wayans, Damon Wayans Jr., Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Gabrielle Union and Lorraine Toussaint.
Melvin Van Peebles, Julie Dash and Ryan Coogler were among the black directors on the list, Mary J. Blige and will.i.am were among the musical artists and Hispanic actors America Ferrara, Luis Guzman and Michelle Rodriguez also made the cut.
In January, facing criticism over the lack of nominations for any actors of color for the second year in a row, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced sweeping changes aimed at doubling the number of women and minorities — currently about 1,500 and 535, respectively — in the academy’s ranks by 2020, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Isaacs said in a statement announcing the initiative.
With this current class of invitees, the numbers went up 46% among women and 41% among people of color.