Idris Elba and John Boyega recruited by the Academy in a bid to solve Oscars diversity problem

Steps are being taken to move on from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy


The Oscars organisers have recruited actors including Idris Elba and John Boyega to its membership body in an attempt to address its problems with diversity.


On Wednesday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it was inviting 638 new people – its biggest-ever recruitment surge – to join.

46% of the new recruits are people of colour, and 41% are women. The overall panel is now 11% non-white and 27% female.

As well as Elba and Boyega, other newcomers include Tina Fey, Emma Watson and Brie Larson. 

President Cheryl Boone Isaac had promised to shake things up to ensure the Academy is no longer dominated by older white men who have had comparatively little to do in the film industry in recent years.

It follows on from last year’s controversy, when protests erupted over the lack of black nominations in the best actor and actress categories for the second year running. Many felt Elba should have been shortlisted for Beasts of no Nation.

The fall-out led to actress Jada Pinkett-Smith and filmmaker Spike Lee both boycotting the ceremony, and #OscarsSoWhite trending online.

“We’re proud to welcome these new members to the Academy, and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation; a mission and not just a membership,” Boone Isaac said.

“This class continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today. We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.”


Let’s hope next year’s shortlist shows a wider variety of faces.