Sterling K. Brown, Letitia Wright, Lady gaga, Claire Foy, Tom Holland and singer Adele. AP
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences invited 842 members from 59 countries on Monday to the Oscars organization including Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown and Letitia Wright as the organization strives to further diversify its ranks.
Half of the new invitees to the film academy are women. In 10 of the 17 branches — including the directing, writing and producing branches - more women than men were invited.
It is the first time an annual intake has reached 50 percent female, organizers said.
That's a notable turnaround for an organization that has sought to diversity its ranks following criticism for all-white acting nominees in 2015 and 2016.
Since 2015, the group's overall female membership has grown from 25% to 32%, the academy said. Overall membership of people of colour has doubled, from 8% to 16%.
New invitees include Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown, Claire Foy, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland and Adele. Newly invited directors include "Crazy Rich Asians" filmmaker Jon Chu, "The Babadook" director Jennifer Kent and the film making duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
If most accept their invites, the film academy will number more than 9,000 members.
Next year's Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 9, several weeks earlier than usual.