+
Most Shared

The Academy's new member class is way more diverse than ever before. Finally.

The Academy's new member class looks way different than years past.

By now, you've probably got the memo: The Oscars are really white.

That goes for Academy members, award nominees, and Renee Zellweger's dress from 2004.


You were amazing in "Cold Mountain," Renee. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Earlier this year, not a single person of color was nominated in any of the acting categories. The same happened in 2015.

And it wasn't as though there weren't plenty of deserving non-white candidates.

Idris Elba in "Beast of No Nation" was one of the standout snubs this year. Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images.

Sadly, the past two years weren't anomalies; the Oscars have a long history of being far too monochromatic, so to speak.

The acting nods in 2015 and 2016, however, were so strikingly lily white, the internet couldn't help but call it like it is.

Thus, #OscarsSoWhite became a thing.


The hashtag, started on Twitter by April Reign last year, became a viral outcry demanding the Academy do something — anything! — to start acknowledging actors of color and their stories on Hollywood's biggest night of the year.

And, believe it or not, it looks like those efforts are starting to pay off.

The Academy just released a list of new members invited to join this year, and it's more diverse than ever before.

Of the 683 individuals invited to become Academy members — the people whose votes actually decide who's nominated — 41% are people of color and 46% are women (because, yes, the Academy has an enormous gender gap problem too).

Those figures are unprecedented.


The new membership class certainly doesn't solve the Oscars' diversity problem, of course. But it's a huge step forward.

It'll take some time for the Academy's demographics to shift enough to accurately reflect the real world, seeing as there's more than 6,000 voting members, and the group overall largely consists of people you'd expect to see in the waiting lounge of an outlet shopping mall: older, white, straight males.

GIF from "Gran Torino."

With the diverse makeup of the incoming class joining the ranks, the Academy will go from 8% to 11% people of color overall. And that's significant.

Although that increase may seem measly, a three-percentage point hike in just one year isn't anything to shrug at.

We just need to make sure the trend keeps going in the right direction. Because fair media representation is about more than just diversity for the sake of diversity — the films and TV we watch affect how we see ourselves and the world around us.

What's the best part about the new member class? Learning who got invited into the exclusive club.

"Star Wars'" John Boyega, for instance, made the cut.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

So did "Ugly Betty's" America Ferrera.

Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly.

And "Lost's" Daniel Dae Kim.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

It appears the Academy is also making efforts to include more LGBTQ talents as well, with Lilly and Lana Wachowski — directors of "The Matrix" who are both transgender — receiving member invites this year.

If we can learn anything about the new Academy membership class, it's that, yes, hashtags do have power.

People like to scoff at the idea of hashtag-activism — and there's certainly reasons why hashtag activism might be a flawed method of evoking tangible change — but as evidenced by the results of #OscarsSoWhite, viral movements can make a real world difference.

Sometimes, a single tweet — like the one below — can spark the biggest, most influential institutions to change.


It will take time and effort to ensure the people winning Oscars look more like the actual audience tuning in.

But judging from this year's new membership class, we're on the right path.

It might be a challenge,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs told The Hollywood Reporter of ensuring diversity throughout the years to come. “But we are continuing to keep that pedal to the metal.”

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash

Mississippi teen saves three girls and a police officer.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Sixteen-year-old Corion Evans was passing by the river when he saw a car drive off the road and into the river with three girls inside, and without hesitation, the teen stripped down to his shorts and jumped in to save them. Amber Spradley at WLOX in Mississippi originally reported on the story.

Keep ReadingShow less

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

Keep ReadingShow less