‘Nepotistic Academy’: Hansal Mehta after Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan invited by Oscar voting body
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta has responded to the latest crop of Indian actors and film industry members that have been invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. Among those invited are actors Alia Bhatt and Hrithik Roshan.
Reacting to the news, Hansal tweeted, “Nepotistic Academy.” The original tweet retweeted by him read, “Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, casting director Nandini Shrikent, Neeta Lulla, Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, Nishtha Jain, Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal (visual effects), Sabrina Dhawan, V Senthil Kumar feature in @TheAcademy’s invitee list.” The director gave a sarcastic take on the current discussion.
Alia, Hrithik and costume designer Neeta Lulla are among the 819 artistes and executives who have received invitations. Other prominent Indian names to receive invitations are casting director Nandini Shrikent, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal. In a statement, the Academy said the new invitees include 36% of people of colour and 45% women. Artistes from 68 countries have been invited as members.
Those who accept the invitation will have voting rights at the 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021. “The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” Academy president David Rubin said.
The Academy has been actively working to introduce more diversity in its voting to avoid a controversy like 2016 when the Oscars were dubbed “white” for failing to recognise talents of colour. The 2020 batch boasts of major Hollywood names like Cynthia Erivo, John David Washington, Constance Wu, Zazie Beetz, Florence Pugh, Zendaya, Awkwafina, Yalitza Aparicio, Mackenzie Davis, Ana de Armas, Adele Haenel, Thomasin McKenzie, Olivia Wilde and others.
(With PTI inputs)
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