New Oscar rules: Academy wants award hopefuls to be more diverse

Bloomberg September 9 | Updated on September 09, 2020 Published on September 09, 2020

The move is a part of its effort to improve inclusion both within the organisation and in the movies it honours

Starting in 2024, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will only give the top Oscar to movies that are more diverse — either on screen or behind the scenes.

For movies to be eligible for the best-picture award, they’ll have to adhere to two of four diversity categories, which cover everything from casting to marketing. For example, to qualify in the on-screen representation category, movies must include a key cast member that’s a minority, or focus the story on an under-represented group.

The new standards come after years of criticism that the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s highest honours, are too White and male. In the 2020 ceremony, only one non-White actor was considered for an acting award, and the storylines of major films were mostly about men. Cynthia Erivo, the only Black performer to receive a nomination for best actress, was recognised for playing a former slave.

“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 Chief Executive Officer Dawn Hudson said in a statement.

Films competing for best picture in the 2022 and 2023 Oscars ceremonies will have to submit a confidential form, disclosing diversity figures, but meeting the inclusion thresholds won’t be required until 2024.

Other categories the Academy will consider when looking at diversity are: whether the leadership and project teams are diverse, whether distribution or finance companies behind the film offer opportunities to under-represented groups, and whether studios actively seek out non-White, female, LGBTQ+ or disabled audiences.

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Published on September 09, 2020
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