The Oscars will be implementing strict diversity requirements for Best Picture eligibility in 2024.
The long road to true diversity: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recently announced new standards of representation and inclusion that will officially take effect for the 96th Academy Awards in 2024.
- AMPAS hinted at the changes back in June during the unveiling of its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative. It intends to gradually put some of these changes in place for the 94th (2022) and 95th (2023) Oscars.
- The new standards affect only the Best Picture category, with other categories sticking to their original guidelines.
- To be a contender in the Best Picture category, producers reportedly are required to meet half of the planned requirements in the new doctrine.
Potential requirements: The award-giving body is now preparing significant requirements based on four specific sets of standards that would make a film eligible for Best Picture.
- A requirement being considered is for a film to at least have one Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or unspecified other underrepresented race or ethnicity as a “lead or significant supporting actor.” The film may also have prominent production and marketing jobs for the ethnicities.
- Another is to employ at least 30% of actors in secondary and more minor roles who are women, LGBTQ+, members of a racial or ethnic group and people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- The film might also have a storyline centered on an underrepresented group.
- Other requirements being looked into includes hiring creative leadership and department heads, maintaining at least 30% crew composition, paid internships and representation in marketing and distribution.
Academy’s objective: The four standards, listed in full by Deadline, aims to “encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the moviegoing audience.”
- The guidelines were developed by a group headed by Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos.
- What they came up with was inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards used for funding eligibility in the UK as well as in certain categories of the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA).
- The process also included consultations with the Producers Guild of America (PGA).
- “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,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson were quoted as saying. “The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
Underrepresented for too long: As NextShark had previously reported, award-giving bodies in the U.S., particularly the Oscars, have a pattern of overlooking people of color in their categories.
- Earlier this week, “Mulan” live-action star Tzi Ma expressed disappointment on the award shows’ lack of recognition, particularly for Asian actors.
- “We’ve been overlooked,” he told Variety. “’Parasite’ gets six Oscars, not one for acting. How does that work?”
Feature Image via Getty