The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited nearly 700 new members for the 2016 class to fulfill its intentions to make the Academy more diverse.

Diverse Academy Class

The Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who came under fire during last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, announced the news of the diverse new class Wednesday.

“(We) know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership,” her statement said. “This class continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today. We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.”

Among the actors added to the Academy this year are Idris Elba, Chadwick Boseman, Eva Mendes, America Ferrera, Anika Noni Rose, Alicia Vikander, Mahershala Ali, Rose Byrne, Enrique Castillo, Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox, Oscar Isaac, Dennis Haysbert, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Damon Wayans Jr. and Emma Watson.

Ryan Coogler, Cary Joji Fukunaga, James Wan, Amma Assante and Patricia Riggen are among the directors now a part of the Academy.

For the music branch of the academy, Mary J. Blige, Sia Furler and Will.i.am. and Fitzgerald Diggs from Wu Tang Clan were added.

“I think because the conversation has truly exploded that we were able to have the size and the diversity of talent increase even more for 2016,” Boone Isaacs said in an interview Wednesday. “We have recognized diverse talent throughout our history. What is of-the-now is how expansive and diverse our industry has become. It’s been like a charge of electricity. It’s the topic of conversation, and it’s a good one.”

The Academy will vote on the nominees in early January 2017 and will vote for the winners in mid-February. The 89th Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood Feb. 27, 2017.

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