Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations to Kevin Hart, Common, Gugu Mbatha Raw and Malcolm Lee. They are the newest Hollywood faces to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Their names were among the 322 announced on Friday.

“Its really gratifying to see the big increases in genre, people of color, age and national origin,” says Academy President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

Other notable invitees include director, F. Gary Gray; actor, David Oyelowo; singer-songwriter, John Legend; Dear White People producer, Effie Brown; and DOPE director, Rick Famuyiwa. ESSENCE is also reporting that Selma director, Ava DuVernay is running for one of the board seats that is currently being held by Michael Mann. Voting will conclude on July 2 and results will be announced the following week.

Reportedly, membership into the academy is by invitation only.  Oscar nominees are automatically considered while others must be sponsored by two members of their branch of filmmaking.  The Academy was criticized earlier this year for the lack of diversity in the nominees, especially in the major categories for “Best Actor and Actress” and “Best Supporting Actor and Actress.”

Stay tuned…