Austin Butler, Ke Huy Quan, Keke Palmer, NT Rama Rao Jr and music superstar Taylor Swift are among the 398 artists and executives invited to join the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
If all of this year’s invitees accept membership, it will bring the total number of overall Academy members to 10,817 (up from 10,665 last year), with 9,375 eligible to vote (a decrease from 9,665 due to deaths, retirements and moving to emeritus status) for the 96th Oscars, set to take place on March 10, 2024.
The 2023 class is 40% women. 34% belong to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 52% hail from 51 countries and territories outside the United States.
There are many recent Oscar nominees among the invitees, such as Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”), Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) and Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”). The list also includes many of the 95th ceremony’s winners, such as Ke Huy Quan (supporting actor for “Everything Everywhere All at Once”) cinematographer James Friend (“All Quiet on the Western Front”) and composer and songwriter M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose (“Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”).
Even the dynamic “RRR” lead acting duo of Ram Charan and N. T. Rama Rao Jr. have also been extended invitations, along with the film’s production designer Sabu Cyril and cinematographer K.K. Senthil Kumar.
Even “Swifties” were upset that Swift was double snubbed at last year’s nominations — for original song (“Carolina”) and live action short (“All Too Well: The Short Film”) — however, they can rest assured, seeing her join the ranks of the music branch as she continues her global tour, and has her feature directorial debut in the works.
Also invited are a slew of global artists, artisans and talents such as actors Zar Amir-Ebrahimi (“Holy Spider” and recent Variety breakthrough talent recipient) Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”) and Rosa Salazar (“Alita: Battle Angel”), director Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”), screenwriters Kazuo Ishiguro (“Living”) and Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”).
Among the marketing and awards public relations notables are Kelly Dalton from Netflix and Antonio Gimenez-Palazon from Sony Pictures, in addition to studio executives like Warner Bros-Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Netflix’s Bela Bajaria.
“The Academy is proud to welcome these artists and professionals into our membership,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang. “They represent extraordinary global talent across cinematic disciplines and have made a vital impact on the arts and sciences of motion pictures and on movie fans worldwide.”
Other interesting statistics about this invitee class are four branches invited more women than men to join — casting directors, costume designers, makeup artists and hairstylists and marketing and public relations. The Actors and Directors branches had most of their candidates hail from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities.
Eight filmmakers have been invited to multiple branches — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Colm Bairéad (“The Quiet Girl”), Edward Berger (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), Antonio Campos (“The Devil All the Time”), Lukas Dhont (“Close”), Ana Katz (“The Dog Who Wouldn’t be Quiet”) and Santiago Mitre (“Argentina, 1985”); however, they can only select one upon accepting membership.
In 2022, the Oscars invited 397 new members, including singer Billie Eilish, Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, “Belfast” stars Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan and Disney exec Dana Walden.
With the addition of this new member class, the Academy is now 34% women, 18% from underrepresented communities and 20% from outside the U.S.
This year’s slate of awards contenders will have massive star power and legendary filmmakers in the mix such as Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune Part Two” with Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet.