In the last couple of years, the entertainment industry has reckoned with a lot of changes that generally capture the state of society. The #MeToo movement was one which gave a voice to those who’d found themselves the victims of sexual assualt and has seen perpetrators of these crimes held to account with people like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein serving as examples. The #OscarsSoWhite campaign was another one which highlighted the representation problem in the world’s premier film market. Naturally, this has inpsired a range of remedies. The most glaring one being a bid to diversify the members of the Academy who hold voting rights for the awards. 928 members cut across 59 countries have been invited to join the Academy. Of this, 38% are people of color and 49% are female.
The massive list of new invitees ranges from actress Quvenzhane Wallis, an Oscar nominee for 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, who, at age 14, is the youngest, to composer Sofia Gubaidulina (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Mary Queen of Scots), who, at 86, is the oldest.
Among the new members, 17 are Oscar winners, while 92 are Oscar nominees, including recent acting nominees like Call Me by Your Name‘s Timothee Chalamet and Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya.
The actors branch alone invited in 168 new members, the most of any branch. The eclectic list includes lots of relative newcomers, such as Taron Egerton of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Tiffany Haddish of Girls Trip, Trevante Rhodes of Moonlight and Daisy Ridley of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But it also includes such veteran performers as Jennifer Grey, who made her mark in 1987’s Dirty Dancing; Ann Dowd, the Emmy winner from The Handmaid’s Tale, who currently is appearing in Hereditary; and Wendell Pierce (Selma, The Wire).
Also on the list is Nollywood’s very own Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde who’s work with Last Flight to Abuja and A Private Storm was cited.
Congratulations to her and here’s to bigger things happening for Nollywood.