The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday invited its largest class of new members in a continued push to age down the academy pool while also achieving a more diverse representation. The academy opened the gates to 774 Hollywood professionals, including names such as Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Kristen Stewart, Elle Fanning, Jordan Peele and academy award winner Barry Jenkins. That number tops last year's record class of 683 invitees, which had dwarfed the size of the class from the previous year. If everyone in this year's class accept their invitation, the academy's membership will increase to 8,427, which some in the industry, according to the Los Angeles Times, fear might be cumbersome and devalue its exclusivity. Following two straight years of public outcry surrounding the lack of diverse representation at the Oscars and in the industry at large, the academy vowed to double the number of women and minority members. The 2017 class has 298 women, upping representation from 27% to 28%, and 232 people of color, which brings their representation to 13% from 11%. In 2012 the LA Times reported that the academy Oscar voters were 94% white and 77% male, shifting only a few percentage points in the last couple of years.
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