Los Angeles: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah are among a record 928 new members invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the body behind the Oscars seeks to enhance diversity.
In an annoucement, the Academy said the new members will increase the diversity in a major way as 49 per cent of its invitees are female and 38 per cent are people of colours.
Artistes from 59 countries have been invited as members.
India features prominently in the list of the new invitees that includes female stars Tabu and Madhuri Dixit, Tabu's 'Viraasat' co-star Anil Kapoor and actor Ali Fazal.
Veteran Bengali actors Soumitra Chatterjee ('Bridge') and Madhabi Mukherjee ('Charulata') are in the list of invitees.
Yash Raj Films' Aditya Chopra and producer Guneet Monga also feature in the list.
Cinematograper Anil Mehta, best known for his work in Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar', is also invited so are costume designers Dolly Ahluwalia and Manish Malhotra.
Other names include Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray. Both of them worked in ‘Haider’.
‘Dangal’ editor Ballu Saluja, musicians Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ represent India in the musicians section.
Oscar-winner A R Rahman, actor Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan are already the Academy members.
Last year, Shah Rukh’s omission from the list of members invited had made headlines as apart from Aamir, Salman Khan as well actresses as younger than him like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra were selected.
The Academy has been actively working to introduce more diversity in its voting to avoid a controversy like 2016 when the Oscars were dubbed "white" for failing to recognise talents of colour.
The Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in October last year further shaped the narrative in Hollywood with women coming forward and demanding better representation through #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
The Academy seems to have taken these changes in consideration by diversifying its membership....