Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Pharrell Williams among 271 invited to join academy

Turns out that Lupita Nyong’o could not count on her own vote to put her over the top in this year’s Supporting Actress race at the Oscars. On Thursday, it was announced that the “12 Years a Slave” star numbers in the 271 people invited to join the motion picture academy. (See full list here.)

Also making the cut are four of this year’s other first-time Oscar nominees — Nyong’o’s nemisis in “12 Years,” Michael Fassbender, two of her rival nominees — Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) and June Squibb (“Nebraska”) —  and another rookie actor Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”). And Pharrell Williams, who rocked the Oscarcast with his rendition of Best Song nominee “Happy,” nabbed an invite from the music branch. 

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Last year, the academy invited 276 new members to join, a 57% bump from the 176 additions in 2011. This larger number of invitations followed the elimination of a quota system that had restricted the number of new members in years past.

As of late, the academy has been making a concerted effort to expand its ranks to include more minority and female members. However, while the last three years have seen women account for about 30% of the invitees, this year it is back to about 25%. And the number of visible minorities is down slightly too. 

Oscars invite 271 to join academy (Full List)

Among the other noteworthy names joining the acting branch are 2004 Oscarcast host Chris Rock, one-time TV co-stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Clark Gregg, “Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson and screen vet David Strathairn

The directors branch welcomes 11 new members including two French-Canadian filmmakers: Jean-Marc Valle (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners”). 

And among the 19 new writers are recent Oscar nominees Bob Nelson (“Nebraska”) and Terence Winter (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). 

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