Actor Ali Fazal, who is among the Indian talent invited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to be a member, says it makes him glad that the Oscar-giving body is making strides to diversify and become inclusive.
Ali is one among the 928 artistes and executives, who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures across the world, to have got an invitation from the Academy to be a part of its Class of 2018.
Among the Indians in the list are names like Shah Rukh Khan, Soumitra Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Aditya Chopra, Guneet Monga, Usha Khanna, Sneha Khanwalkar, Anil Mehta, Ballu Saluja, Manish Malhotra, Dolly Ahluwalia, Madhabi Mukherjee, Subrata Chakraborthy and Amit Ray.
Ali said in a statement: "It's an absolute honour for me to have been accepted into the Academy. To one more step towards global cinema, towards one world... I am so happy the Academy has diversified extensively over the past few years. And to include me in that prestigious list is in itself an honour for me and my country."
"I hope I serve well in the forthcoming years of entertainment. There are some heavy names out there on the list so am happy to share stage with them on this," said the actor, whose international credits include "Furious 7" and "Victoria And Abdul".
Tiffany Haddish, Kal Penn, Kumail Nanjiani, Blake Lively, Dave Chappelle, Mindy Kaling, George Lopez, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Evan Rachel Wood, Naveen Andrews, Melissa Etheridge, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kendrick Lamar and J.K. Rowling are among the popular names on the list which ranges from actress Quvenzhane Wallis, who, at age 14, is the youngest, to composer Sofia Gubaidulina, who, at 86, is the oldest.
The Academy's current diversity push began even before the nominations were announced in 2014 for the 86th Oscars, when the lack of people of colour among the acting nominees led to the protest hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
The outcry grew louder when the situation repeated itself in 2015, putting added pressure on the organisation to work further on its efforts.