Bollywood’s King Shah Rukh Khan has always been representing India wherever he goes like a true global icon. This time, King Khan as well as other 20 celebrated personalities from our Indian film industry, have been invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the body behind the Oscars seeks to enhance diversity.
The Academy Award had faced quite the backlash in India, last year, due to Shah Rukh Khan’s omission from the list of members invited as apart from Aamir Khan, Salman Khan as well actresses younger than him like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra were selected.
However, now the body is looking towards global diversity as they invite artists from 59 countries have been to be members.
In an announcement, the Academy said the new members will increase the diversity in a major way as 49 per cent of its invitees are female and 38 per cent are people of colours.
India features prominently in the list of the new invitees that includes female stars Tabu and Madhuri Dixit, Tabu’s ‘Viraasat’ co-star Anil Kapoor and actor Ali Fazal.
Veteran Bengali actors Soumitra Chatterjee (‘Bridge’) and Madhabi Mukherjee (‘Charulata’) are in the list of invitees.
Yash Raj Films’ Aditya Chopra and producer Guneet Monga also feature in the list.
Cinematographer Anil Mehta, best known for his work in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’, is also invited so are costume designers, Dolly Ahluwalia and Manish Malhotra.
Other names include Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray. Both of them worked in ‘Haider’.
‘Dangal’ editor Ballu Saluja, musicians Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ represent India in the musicians section.
Not to forget, we already have Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan as well as Oscar-winner A.R.Rahman as part of the member board.
The Academy has been actively trying to bring in more diversity wherever possible, more so after the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in October last year. Hollywood’s ideal has gotten more bold and clear that women will come forward and achieve their rightful half of better representation through #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Not to forget the Oscar scandal of 2016, wherein the Academy was dubbed “white” for failing to recognise talents of colour. The Academy is definitely making up quite a lot to avoid such events to reoccur.