Taylor Swift, The Weeknd invited to join Oscars panel

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LOS ANGELES:

Music megastars Taylor Swift and The Weeknd are among showbiz people invited to join the organisation that votes on who gets the Oscars, the body said Wednesday. Other invitees include Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who directed Everything Everywhere All at Once, which won seven Oscars this year including the prize for best picture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said its new crop of members of Tinseltown’s most elite club numbers 398 people. That is about half the figure of recent years as the academy scaled back after working to double the number of women and non-white members, following calls to boycott the glitzy Oscars and an angry social media backlash under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite due to a lack of diversity.

The Academy now has more than 10,000 members. Of the 2023 class, the academy said 40% identify as women, 34% belong to underrepresented ethnic and racial communities, and 52% are from 50 countries and territories outside the United States.

Swift’s song Carolina features in the movie Where the Crawdads Sing while The Weeknd’s tune Nothing is Lost (You Give Me Strength) is heard in Avatar: Way of Water. The artist’s real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.

Seen as the apex body of the Hollywood film industry, the Academy issues a single round of invitations annually. Only Academy members can vote for Oscar winners. Next year’s Oscars are set to take place on March 10.

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