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Cynthia Erivo, Chad Hugo Among 819 Pros Invited to Join Motion Picture Academy in Push to Diversify Membership

Cynthia Erivo, Chad Hugo, Larry Mullen, Patrice Rushen, Arturo Sandoval and Bernie Taupin are among the well-known musicians who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The academy invited 819 people to join this year – 45% of them women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial minorities and 49% from outside the U.S., according to academy numbers-crunchers.

The academy notes that “those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the academy’s membership in 2020,” an indication that it wants to control who joins its membership—and perhaps to control the demographic numbers.

The academy also said that, in a major shift, “the membership status of all artists’ representatives (agents) will change from associates to members-at-large. As members-at-large, agents will now have Oscars voting privileges.”

In 2016, the academy set specific inclusion goals (as part of its A2020 initiative) to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020.  The academy announced that it has surpassed these twin goals.

“We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are committed to staying the course…We look forward to continuing to foster an academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new museum, and in our awards.”

The academy notes that this year’s class of invitees features 75 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners, and five recipients of scientific and technical awards.

Eight individuals, including Erivo, have been invited to join the academy by multiple branches. These individuals must select one branch upon accepting membership. Erivo was double-honored this year for her work on Harriet. She was nominated for best actress and for best original song for co-writing “Stand Up” with Joshuah Brian Campbell. (He is also an invitee this year.)

Of the other musicians who were invited to join, Taupin won his first Oscar this year for best original song for co-writing “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, Mullen of U2 has been nominated in that category twice for co-writing “The Hands That Built America” from Gangs of New York and Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

The 2020 music invitees, with film credits supplied by the academy, are:

Clinton Bennett – After, Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Tamar-Kali Brown – The Last Thing He Wanted, Mudbound
Joshuah Brian Campbell – Harriet
Chanda Dancy – After We Leave, Everything Before Us
Nainita Desai – The Reason I Jump, For Sama
Arhynn Descy – Eye for an Eye, 50 Kisses
Bryce Dessner – Irresistible, The Two Popes
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Ilan Eshkeri – Stardust, Layer Cake
Robert Andre Glasper – The Photograph, Mr. Soul!
Katie Greathouse – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Andrea Guerra – The Pursuit of Happyness, Hotel Rwanda
Tom Howe – A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Charming
Chad Hugo – The Black Godfather, Hidden Figures
Devonté “Blood Orange” Hynes – Queen & Slim, Fifty Shades of Grey
Jung Jae-Il – Parasite, Okja
Peter Kam – Dragon, The Warlords
Lele Marchitelli – Loro 1, The Great Beauty

Cyril Paul Henri Morin – Zaytoun, Samsara
Khaled Mouzanar – Capernaum, Where Do We Go Now?
Larry Mullen – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Man on the Train
Blake Neely – Assassins, Life as We Know It
Roger Neill – 20th Century Women, Beginners
Michael Nyman – Gattaca, The Piano
Sattar Oraki – The Salesman, Give Back
Michiru Oshima – Memories of Tomorrow, Lost Paradise
Park Inyoung – Pieta, Poongsan
Max Richter – Ad Astra, Waltz with Bashir
Patrice Rushen – Men in Black, Indecent Proposal
Jeff Russo – Lucy in the Sky, Hondros
Arturo Sandoval – Richard Jewell, The Mule
Anton Sanko – Fractured, Ouija
Jermain Stegall – Proximity, Jamesy Boy
Bernie Taupin – Rocketman, Brokeback Mountain


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