The Academy is getting new blood. AMPAS has announced that three new members are joining its board of governors: DeVon Franklin (who hails from the executive branch), Rodrigo Garcia (directors), and Janet Yang (producers) are all slated to become governors-at-large. The board is comprised of 54 members. John Bailey, who’s served as president of the Academy since August 2017, appointed them, and the full board confirmed the new trio at their April meeting.
Franklin, Garcia, and Yang are succeeding Reginald Hudlin (directors branch), Gregory Nava (writers), and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (short films and feature animation), who were appointed the first governors-at-large by former AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs in March of 2016. The initiative was a result of two straight years of every acting nominee at the Oscars being white, prompting the #OscasSoWhite hashtag.
It’s also part of the Academy’s larger push for more inclusion, which has seen the august body expand its membership with an eye toward greater diversity in recent years. The organization invited 928 new inductees last year, a record number that increased on 2017’s new class of 774; in 2015, the first year #OscarsSoWhite took off, AMPAS issued a then-record 322 invites.
Despite this push, the Academy is still largely white and male — women account for just 31% of the overall membership, and non-white members make up 16 percent of the group (a twofold increase of the 2015 number). This transitional phase has seen the Academy Award for Best Picture go to “Moonlight,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Green Book.”
Franklin’s credits include “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Annie,” and “Miracles from Heaven”; he also serves on the Academy’s A2020 committee. Garcia, who began as a cinematographer before becoming a writer-director, has been active helming both movies (“Mother and Child,” “Albert Nobbs”) and television (“Six Feet Under,” “Big Love”). Yang has worked on “Empire of the Sun,” “The Joy Luck Club,” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” among many others.
IndieWire has reached out to the Academy for comment.