The Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a new list of 928 members. The Academy has extended its invitations to personalities from 59 different countries this year. Out of these 20 names are from Bollywood. Yes. We aren’t kidding. Amongst the actors, Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Ali Fazal, Anil Kapoor and Tabu’s names have made it to the list.
Aditya Chopra and Guneet Monga are the two producers added to the honour roll. Apart from this, cinematographer Anil Mehta, costume designers Dolly Ahluwalia and Manish Malhotra, sound designers Debajit Changmai and Biswadeep Chatterjee, production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, music composers Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar and film editor Ballu Saluja have made it to the prestigious list this year.
The expansion of the Academy membership is following the anti-diversity backlash faced by the Oscars in 2015 and 2016 according to reports in Variety. According to Hollywood Reporter, ” Forty-nine percent of the class of 2018 are female, and, should all accept membership, that will bring an overall percentage of women in the Academy to 31 percent. Thirty-eight percent of the new members are people of colour, bringing their overall percentage in the Academy to 16 percent.” Last year, the Indian actors invited by The Academy to be members were Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghose and Sooni Taraporevala.