​new oscars judges bring diversity to the academy

David Oyelowo, Emma Stone and Common are among the 322 new members.

by Charlotte Gush
27 June 2015, 5:16pm

David Oyelowo

When the LA Times took a survey of the Academy members voting for the Academy Awards (the Oscars) earlier this year, they discovered that 94% were white, 76% were men and the average age was 63 years old. While it wasn't surprising that the people with a voice were overwhelmingly old white men, it was hella depressing.

The cheery news is, the Academy have just announced 322 new members, and, though it will not bring about a rainbow utopia of diverse representation, it is certainly moving in that direction. Among the new invited members are David Oyelowo (Selma), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Emma Stone (Birdman), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) and songwriting team John Legend and Common.

"It's very gratifying to see the big increase in gender and people of colour, in age and national origin. It's a testament to the extraordinary breadth of talent in our industry," Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told THR, adding that, "This organisation is committed to increasing the diversity of voices, opinions and experiences. The branches, which set the criterion for membership, have really stepped up and looked out and about and around to recognise filmmakers and artists and crafts-people who maybe might have been overlooked in the past."

There are also positions available on the Academy's board of governors; THR reports that 40% of the candidates are women, with Selma Director Ava DuVernay in the running.


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography minglemediatv

Academy Awards