The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just got a whole lot bigger, and its members are rolling out the red carpet online.
On Monday, the organization responsible for nominating and voting for the Oscars extended invitations to a whopping 928 new members. The large expansion in membership comes as part of a push from the Academy to diversify its ranks, with 49 percent of the invites going to female actors and filmmakers and 38 percent representing people of color.
Invitations went to a wide range of individuals, including Mindy Kaling, Tiffany Haddish, Danai Gurira, Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kravitz, Christine Baranski, Ben Whishaw, and more.
Many incoming and established members celebrated the new class on social media. Kumail Nanjiani screen-grabbed his new membership announcement and wrote, “Hey yo. I’m in The Academy,” while current member Lupita Nyong’o shared a video through the Academy’s Twitter page welcoming her Black Panther costar Danai Gurira.
Several stars addressed the pointed push for diversity in their messages, with director Ava DuVernay saying, “I hope we can continue to grow the Academy to beautiful, bolder places.”
The Academy released a string of similar videos of current members welcoming and congratulating new members, including a video from Steven Spielberg addressing new directing members and one from the cast of Big Little Lies offering congratulations, particularly for their castmate Zoe Kravitz.
From one comedian to another, Melissa McCarthy surprised costar Tiffany Haddish on the set of The Kitchen with the news. “I’m going to get movies for free!” Haddish responded in joyous disbelief.
See below for a sampling of tweets.