The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Welcomes 774 New Members

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FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2017 file photo, host Jimmy Kimmel appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, said Kimmel will return for the 90th Oscars on March 4, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 774 new members to join Wednesday in a push to continue to diversify its ranks.

The 2017 class is the academy’s largest class ever, according to Variety, breaking last year’s record of 683 invited new members and is part of the organization’s vow, unveiled through a 2016 initiative, to increase the number of women and people of color in its membership. This year’s invitees include “Get Out” director Jordan Peele, “Nightcrawler” star Riz Ahmed, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “The Girl On The Train” star Édgar Ramírez, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, and Oscar-nominated actress Naomie Harris. The new class is 39 percent female and 30 percent non-white, according to the academy. Since 2015, the academy’s overall female membership has grown from 25 percent to 28 percent and its non-white membership from 8 percent to 13 percent. Other names in the new class include “Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra, comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Leslie Jones, “Andi Mack” star Lauren Tom, “Agents of Shield” actress Ming-Na Wen, and “Law & Order: SVU” actor BD Wong.

First founded 90 years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began with just under 300 members in 1927, according to the academy. It now consists of more than 7,000 members who work in 17 different branches in the world of film.

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