Steven Yeun, Laverne Cox, Andra Day among 395 new Academy members

On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the addition of 395 new members from 50 countries. 

Among them are a diverse group of performers, from Minari Oscar nominee Steven Yuen and winner Yuh-Jung Youn, to trans Promising Young Woman actress and activist Laverne Cox, and singer/actress Andra Day, who was nominated last year for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Other invitees included Da 5 Bloods‘ Jonathan Majors and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.One Night in Miami‘s Leslie Odom, Jr.The Trial of the Chicago 7‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; and actress and producer Issa Rae.

The full list is posted on the Academy’s website.

Ever since it was taken to task with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in 2016, the Academy has made efforts to boost diversity both in front of and behind the camera, as well as in its own ranks. In 2020, it announced that it instituted new standards for representation and inclusivity when considering films for Oscar nominations, including the esteemed Best Picture category.

In 2021, a record nine actors of color were nominated, including Minari’s Yeun, the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor.

Last year was also the first time in Oscar history that white men were in the minority in the Best Actor category — however, the low-rated telecast made headlines for all the wrong reasons once again when Anthony Hopkins won the trophy for The Father, instead of the actor many believed would win, the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

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