You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Oscars academy invites Kiwi duo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2016 Peter Mitchell, US Correspondent

Kiwi actor Cliff Curtis and director Taika Waititi have been invited to join one of the world's most illustrious clubs.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday it was recruiting a record 683 new members to try to diversify its largely male and white membership.

A furore erupted in January when the academy announced its nominees for February's awards ceremony and for the second straight year black actors were snubbed.

The academy went global in its new search, with two of the 283 international invitees New Zealanders - and both Maori.

Curtis, who is currently starring in the television series Fear of the Walking Dead, has featured in a host of movies including Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider and The Dark Horse.

Waititi will direct his first Hollywood movie - Thor: Ragnarok - this year and is enjoying rave reviews for his latest effort Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

The net was also cast across the ditch with at least 13 Australians, including Lachlan and James Murdoch and actress Rose Byrne, also getting invites.

The academy's membership is 90 per cent white and 75 per cent male.

Of the 683 new invitees, 46 per cent are female and 41 per cent are people of colour.

With the addition of the new members being invited, the academy's female membership will rise from 25 per cent to 27 per cent and for people of colour from eight per cent to 11 per cent.

"We're proud to welcome these new members to the academy, and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership," academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said.

Other new members include Anthony Anderson, Regina King, America Ferrara, Marlon Wayans, Rachel McAdams, Kate Beckinsale, Tom Hiddleston, Alicia Vikander and Mark Rylance.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon