June 29 (UPI) -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- which votes on the prestigious Oscars for film -- has invited 774 artists to join its ranks this year.
Among the new members are actors Riz Ahmed, Debbie Allen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Monica Bellucci, John Cho, Priyanka Chopra, Terry Crews, Warwick Davis, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton, Chris Evans, Anna Faris, Lou Ferrigno, Gal Gadot, Donald Glover, Rupert Grint, Jon Hamm, Naomie Harris, Chris Hemsworth, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dwayne Johnson, Leslie Jones, Ruth Negga, Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Margot Robbie, Kristen Stewart, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Shailene Woodley, as well as filmmakers Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele.
"We're proud to invite our newest class to the academy. The entire motion picture community is what we make of it. It's up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy's president.
The Oscars website noted there has been an increase of 359 percent in the number of women invited to join the academy between 2015 and 2017. During the same time period, there has also been an increase of 331 percent in the number of people of color invited.
The academy is actively trying to be more inclusive since it was criticized for having no people of color among its acting nominees at the 2015 and 2016 Oscars.