If the latest reports from Tinsel Town are anything to go by, you might be seeing a lot more familiar faces at next year’s Oscars; they’ve added a whole load of Bollywood’s stars to the world’s most glam members list.
In a bid to diversify the annual awards ceremony with greater female and ethnic representation, the organisers of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, have invited a host of India’s best actors, actresses, writers and directors to next year’s ceremony.
Famous Indians set to feature among the 744 new additions to the elite list include actors Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai, directors Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghose, writers Sooni Taraporevala and Buddhadeb Dasgupta and costume designer Arjun Bhasin.
A report in The Hollywood Reporter stated, “the Academy has made a concerted effort to diversify its membership ranks by bringing in more women, people of color and filmmakers from around the world.”
The Academy has come under fire in recent years due to it’s lack of diversity and underrepresentation of groups, especially females and non-whites. At the Oscars 2016 ceremony for example, Priyanka Chopra was India’s sole representative.
There’s been a lot of heat on the academy to change this unjustified discrepancy. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended online in 2014 and again in 2015 as an impassioned protest to the overwhelming presence of white males, which made up 92% (white) and 75% (male).
The accusations of ‘white-washing’ made against the academy has added much-needed pressure to address the situation and has led to the academy pledging to double its number of women and diverse members by 2020.
And judging by the announcements of next year’s invitation list, the academy seems to be awakening to its negligence of females and ethnic groups and making steps to ensure greater representation and acknowledgement of talent in the ‘non-white world.’
Previous Indian invitees at the Oscars have included AR Rahman, Sharmila Tagore, Resul Pookutty and Freida Pinto.