The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that it will be inviting a list of 397 artists of Hollywood and international community professionals to join the Oscars organizer’s membership ranks. The list includes five Arab talents: Iranian actor Amir Jadidi, Egyptian music composer Hesham Nazih, Jordanian director Murad Abu Eisheh, and Lebanese-born Youssef Joe Haidar, among other celebrated individuals in the industry.
The membership selection is based on their professional qualification and distinguished contributions with a strong commitment to representation, inclusion, and equity at the core of the decision. According to the statement from the Academy, the potential 2022 class includes a list of 71 Oscar nominees with 15 winners on the invitee list, with 44% of it being women, 37% belonging to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 50% from 53 countries and territories outside the USA.
Joining the above-mentioned list are actors Anya Taylor-Joy, and Jamie Dornan, and Academy Award-winning artists such as Best Supporting Actress winner Ariana DeBose for West Side Story, and singer Billie Eilish, who won Best Original Song for her James Bond theme ‘No Time to Die’ earlier this year.
The Academy also stated that holding an invitation does not promise a membership and that only those who accept the invitations will be part of the class of 2022. They further announced that this year’s invitee total is double of the class, which came after a rise in membership as AMPAS focused on diversifying its rolls and expanding its international footprint following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy after the 2015 nominations, in which all 20 acting nominations were given to white actors.
The Academy’s initiative to diversify led to 683 invitees in 2016, 774 in 2017, 928 in 2018, 842 in 2019, and 819 in 2020. The intention set down in the Academy Aperture 2025 was to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic and racial communities by 2020, which it said had exceeded the previous year. The new adjustment should allow it to exceed 10,000 members in total.