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Zendaya, Eva Longoria, Cynthia Erivo and Awkwafina asked to join The Academy

The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited 819 new people to join the organization this year, including Zendaya, Eva Longoria, Cynthia Erivo, Awkwafina and John David Washington.  

Of those invited to The Academy this year, 36% are people of color. 

The new invitees were announced on Tuesday by The Academy, the organization which puts on the Oscars. If they accept, which most do, those in the new class will have voting privileges at this year’s Oscars.

The massive 2020 list includes a diverse swath of people from all sectors of the industry, from acting to publicity to costume design.

Invited actors include Ana De Armas (Knives Out), Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians). 

Cynthia is among those asked to join multiple branches, with the actress offered invitations to either the actors or music branches. Those with multiple invites will have to make a decision as to which one they prefer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

Directors like Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Ari Aster (Midsommar), Terence Davies (The House Of Mirth) and Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) are also on the list.

A handful of actors from this year’s best picture winner Parasite, including Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun, were also invited to join. The Academy said that 49% of the new invitees are international and represent some 68 countries.

Other notable invitees include TV mogul Ryan Murphy, who produced the documentary A Secret Love, country singer Tim McGraw, who was in The Blind Side and lyricist Bernie Taupin who contributed to the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Academy president David Rubin said that the organisation is ‘delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences’.

Diversifying its ranks continues to be a main focus for the film academy, which in 2016 committed to doubling its female and minority membership by 2020.

It has since surpassed those goals and continues to infuse membership classes with both women and people from underrepresented communities.

Women make up 45% of the 2020 class and people of colour comprise 36% of the total of invitees this year. The academy has also announced a new five-year plan that includes implementing inclusion standards for nominees.

‘We look forward to continuing to foster an Academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new Museum, and in our awards,’ said academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a written statement.

This will also be the first year that talent agent members will be able to vote on the awards.

The 93rd Academy Awards are set to take place on April 25, 2021, two months later than originally planned due to Covid-19’s effects on the industry.

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