Oscars Gain More Than 200 Voters – but Actors Branch Keeps Shrinking

For the third year in a row, the Academy’s biggest branch drops in size

Oscar Statuettes
The coveted Oscar statue (Credit: Getty Images)

The number of Academy members who are eligible to vote for the Oscars has pushed close to 9,800, according to an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences branch count dated Dec. 14.

A record 9,797 members are eligible to cast ballots beginning on Thursday, Jan. 11. That’s an increase of 218 over last year, when 9,579 members were eligible to vote. In June of 2023, the Academy invited 398 film professionals to join, but that influx was likely counterbalanced by existing Academy members who died or moved to nonvoting status.

Of the 17 Academy branches that existed at the beginning of the year, 16 showed increases in membership, with the Executives Branch having the largest increase, 46. Other branches with double-digit increases were Documentary (32), Visual Effects (22), Short Films and Feature Animation (21), Marketing and Public Relations (16), Directors (14) Producers (13) and Writers (12).

Only one branch dropped in size. The Actors Branch, the Academy’s largest, fell by eight members over the last year, dropping from 1,302 members to 1,294. While the branch increased in size during the aggressive five-year AMPAS membership drive that began in 2016 in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, its numbers have fallen for three straight years as the Academy has gone back to inviting fewer new members. The Actors Branch also suffered losses for three straight years in 2013-2015, before the drive began.

One major change came with the establishment of a new branch, the Production and Technology Branch. Its 378 members came predominantly from the group that was previously classified as Members at Large, which lost 362 members and now consists mainly of “artists representatives,” agents and managers.

Counting 43 nonvoting associate members, the Academy now has a total active membership of 9,840 – and if you add an additional 932 emeritus members, the total reaches 10,772.

Here are the branch counts as of Dec. 14, the final count before Oscar nomination voting begins. The change in size since last year’s final pre-nomination count is indicated in parentheses.

Actors: 1,294 (-8)
Casting Directors: 158 (+4)
Cinematographers: 293 (+3)
Costume Designers: 172 (+3)
Directors: 587 (+14)
Documentary: 680 (+32)
Executives: 740 (+46)
Film Editors: 377 (+1)
Makeup Artists and Hairstylists: 242 (+6)
Marketing and Public Relations: 630 (+16)
Music: 394 (+6)
Producers: 652 (+4)
Production and Technology: 378 (new branch)
Production Design: 403 (+13)
Short Films and Feature Animation: 888 (+21)
Sound: 556 (+7)
Visual Effects: 637 (+22)
Writers: 522 (+12)
Members-at-Large: 194 (-362)

Total voting members: 9,797 (+218)

Associate members: 43 (-38)

Total active members: 9,840 (+180)

Emeritus members: 932 (-1)

Total active and inactive members: 10,772 (+179)

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