The Shmooze

Lena Dunham, Joseph Gordon-Levitt added to Academy

By Anne Cohen

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Lena Dunham

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 276 new members to join its 16 branches.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the list of actors invited to join includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jason Schwartzman, Jason Bateman, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Oh, Danny Trejo, Chris Tucker, Emmanuelle Riva and Charles Grondin.

Lena Dunham will be joining the ranks of writers, while Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) will be added to the list of directors.

“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy president Hawk Koch. “Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy.”

The Academy had been criticized in recent years for their somewhat restricted membership (read: old white males), and this year was particularly diverse. This can be partly explained by the fact that the quota system used by the Academy, which restricted the number of members that each branch could invite to replace members who retired or passed away, was abolished this year.

Despite the change, Koch said, “We did not change our criteria at all. Yes, this year there is a tremendous amount of women, a tremendous amount of people of color, people from all walks of life. This year, we asked the branches to look at everybody who wasn’t in the Academy but who deserved to be.”

For a full list of new members, click here.

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