The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which oversees the Oscars, announced that it would add diversity components to the Oscar competition on camera and behind the scenes. From 2022 onwards, films seeking the highest award must submit a confidential “inclusion standard form”. In 2024, they must meet two of four diversity rules.
One example of how it will work is that in order to meet the onscreen representation standard, “at least one of the lead actors or a significant supporting actor must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, whether that means Asian, Hispanic, Black, Indigenous, Native American, Middle Eastern, North African, native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.”
Or “Thirty percent of all actors in secondary or more minor roles could come from two of the following categories: women, L.G.B.T.Q., an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, or those with cognitive or physical disabilities. Or the main story line must focus on an underrepresented group.”
This step is seen as part of an ongoing effort to accelerate inclusion both within the organization itself and in the films that it awards. David Rubin the academy’s president stated that “The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them“. The chief executive, Dawn Hudson said the diversity and inclusion standards will “be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
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Source: Sperling, N., “Academy Explains Diversity Rules for Best Picture Oscar”, The New York Times, Sept. 8, 2020.
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