For the last couple of years in particular, the Oscars have been defined by the issue of diversity. The last couple of years in particular have seen shortlists that have almost entirely overlooked the work of non-white filmmakers. This article, from Variety, does a particularly good job of breaking down the issues with last year’s shortlist.
Now, action has been taken to freshen up the Academy’s perspective. This year’s intake is a record-breaking 683 new members and the list is crammed with familiar, and diverse, faces. THR have the full breakdown and it’s a great list, with women making up 46% and people of color making up 41%. This is part of the Academy’s ongoing plan to double it’s percentages of both groups by 2020.
It’s also a definitively young list and that’s going to help too. While visionary directors like Ken Loach really should have been members years ago, the list also includes talents at the start of their careers. Michael B. Jordan is a member now, as is Emma Watson, Cary Fukunaga, John Boyega, James Wan and the Wachowski Sisters. The Hollywood Old Guard this most certainly is not and it’ll be interesting to see how their presence changes the shortlists over the coming years.