Academy welcomes 842 new members, half of them women

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited 842 new members to the Oscars organization, half of them women

NEW YORK -- The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited 842 new members to the Oscars organization, half of them women.

The film academy on Monday announced its 2019 class of members, including new invitees Lady Gaga, Tom Holland, Adele, Sterling K. Brown, Claire Foy and Letitia Wright.

In recent years, the academy has sought to diversify its ranks following criticism for all-white acting nominees in 2015 and 2016. This year's class is made up of 29% people of color. The 842 members hail from 59 countries.

Since 2015, the group's overall female membership has grown from 25% to 32%. Overall membership of people of color has doubled, from 8% to 16%.