Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift, “Elvis” star Austin Butler and best-supporting actor winner Ke Huy Quan were among more than 300 people selected to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that awards the Oscars. Swift, 33, was invited to join the Academy’s music branch after writing songs for the soundtracks of the 2022 movie “Where the Crawdads Sing” and the 2019 film adaptation of the musical Cats. Butler, 31, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in “Elvis,” but lost to Sam Elliott for “The Shape of Water.” The Academy has taken steps to diversify its membership since the #OscarsSoWhite outcry in 2015.
This year’s class includes:
34% belonging to underrepresented ethnic or racial communities.
52% from countries outside the United States.
If all invitees accept their membership, the Academy will have 10,817 members, with 9,375 eligible to vote for the 96th Oscars scheduled for March 10. That would be a slight increase over last year, which saw an increase in new members after years of decline due to retirements, deaths, and moving to emeritus status.
This year’s class includes Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix chief content officer Bela Bajaria, and “RRR” stars Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr., “Everything Everywhere All at Once” directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, former SXSW chief Janet Pierson, WME co-chairs Christian Muirhead and Richard Weitz, Nobel Prize-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro, SAG Foundation president Scott Storch, and actors Paul Mescal and Stephanie Hsu.
The majority of this year’s invitees are from countries outside the United States, including “Holy Spider” actor Zar Amir-Ebrahimi, “Triangle of Sadness” breakout Dolly De Leon, Shoplifters’ Sakura Ando and “Phantom Thread’s” Vicky Kreips and Park Hae-il. Other Hollywood actors include Lashana Lynch, Nicholas Hoult, Bill Hader, Paul Reiser, and Selma Blair.
The film academy said this year’s new members include 22 Oscar winners and 76 nominees. They will be eligible to vote for the next academy elections, which will take place in 2024. Those will include three seats that will be voted on by international members of the board of governors, who represent all branches of the Academy and the two non-US branches. One seat will also be voted on by the general membership from the non-US branches. That will be announced in July. Invited members from the various branches will fill the other four slots. This is the third time the film academy has used this method of filling its ranks. It used the method in the early 1980s and again in the late 2000s. In both cases, there were some notable exceptions. The Academy has never had an all-white group of members in its history, but it did not have a whole black or Asian group until this year. The first all-black group was elected this month.