Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan and 682 other personalities of the cinema were invited to access the status of member of the Academy of Arts and Film Sciences, which wants to include two times more women and people from ethnic minorities to 2020.
Other Canadians are invited to join the ranks of the Academy of Oscar which Rachel McAdams, Adam Beach, Deepa Mehta and Emma Donoghue.
Among the newcomers, there are 46% women and 41% of people from ethnic minorities.
If they all agree to join the organization, they will significantly increase the diversity: the percentage of women would increase from 25 to 27% and that of non-white members, 8 to 11%.
Chinese cinematographer Zhao Fei, the actors Idris Elba and Eva Mendes and RZA of the Wu Tang Clan are among the potential members. Also, the black actor John Boyega (Star Wars), the Belgian-Kurdish director Sahim Omar Kalifa, Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, the actresses Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) or the singer Mary Black J. Blige, listed the Academy of motion picture arts and sciences in a statement.
The Academy took a inclusivity after becoming the heart of the controversy at the last Oscar ceremony, while the selection of finalists was exclusively white actors for the second consecutive year.
In March, the agency has added three new members to its Board of Governors and appointed six people from ethnic minorities in high-ranking posts.
The President of the Academy, Cheryl Bone Isaacs, said the new cohort was part of the “long-term commitment to host extraordinary talents and representative of those working in the film industry today” .
The new 683 guests, representing sixty countries, also have 28 Oscar-winning people and 98 appointed rewards, details the Academy.
The institution has faced for several years criticized for the lack of diversity in its ranks and among the players who are awarded an Oscar.
For the second consecutive year, the twenty finalists in 2016 in the main categories were white, a situation that has led to calls for a boycott of the prestigious event in Hollywood and the emergence of #OscarsSowhite hashtag.
Not too much change
The initiative clearly intended to eliminate critical however not deeply change the landscape of the Academy, largely white, male and older.
According to the institution, it is composed of 75% men before members this year have been selected. If all 683 guests accepted the invitation, this percentage would go down modestly to 73%.
In the same case, the share of whites would increase from 92 to 89%.
The Academy’s board intends to double the number of women and representatives of ethnic minorities by 2020.
To be selected, a new recruit should be supported by two members of the Academy deeming it “has demonstrated an exceptional feat,” or being named before the Oscars.
She joined one of the 17 branches of the Academy which attributes the famous statuettes.