Oscars' codifies diversity standards to improve representation

Oscars’ codifies diversity and inclusion standards to improve representation


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced several new measures to improve fair inclusion and diversity of films in its awarding process.

The Academy, which oversees the Oscars, set forth three new rules for the 2022 Academy Awards, hoping to improve inclusion within its organisation and the Oscars itself as part of an initiative called “Academy Aperture 2025”.

Here are the new rules explained:

1. Diversity Requirement
Films wishing to be considered for The Best Picture Category will be required from 2024 onwards to meet a series of standards for both on screen and behind the scenes. From 2022, each Best Picture film that wants to be in the running must submit an Academy inclusion standard form. 

These inclusion standards require at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actor to be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group: Asian, Hispanic, Black, Indigenous, Native American, Middle Eastern, North African, native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

If the film does not pass this test, it has a second chance to pass another test: at least 30 percent of actors in secondary or minor roles must 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.

If the film does not pass this test, then it must pass this test: the main story must focus on an underrepresented group. Films not only have to meet this onscreen representation standard, they also must meet at least one other of the following categories:

1 | Offscreen creative leadership
2 | Apprenticeship opportunities for members of underrepresented groups
3 | Diversity in the ranks of the marketing and distribution departments

According to New York Times media reporter Nicole Sperling, the two Academy governors — producer DeVon Franklin and Paramount Pictures’ chairman Jim Gianopulo were inspired by the British Film Institute’s 2019 decision to introduce diversity and inclusion criteria as part of its eligibility requirements. Their new rules meant that all entries in “Outstanding British film” and “Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer” must meet at least two of four diversity standards, like “onscreen representation, themes and narratives,” and “industry access and opportunities.” 

The Academy’s chief executive, Dawn Hudson, said the issue of diversity is an urgent issue. “To that end, we will amend and continue to examine our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.”

“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,” David Rubin, the Academy’s president, said in a statement. He believes the new standards will “be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

2. Ten Nominations in Best Film Category
The Best Picture Category will now allow 10 films to be nominated. In the last ten years, nominations have ranged between 5 to 10 films, year to year.

3. Board of Governors
The organisation’s Board of Governors decided to amend its rules so that members can only serve on the board for a maximum of 12 years. In the past, there was no limit. This week, the Academy announced new board of governors, including director Ava DuVernay and producer Lynette Howell Taylor, raising the number of female Academy governors to 26 and 12 persons of colour, out of 54.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set new diversity standards that films will have to meet in order to be eligible for the Best Picture Oscar come 2024. – There are four possible standards. Films that want to be considered must fulfill at least two of them. – These standards have been criticized by some who think the Academy is prioritizing a diversity checklist over the quality of the films. – Others have praised the Academy for encouraging inclusivity, but many experts think these new standards will actually be easy for many studios to meet, and may not change much about what films are eligible. What are your thoughts? Read the full story at RogueRocket.com #Oscars #Diversity #BestPicture

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The “Academy Aperture 2025” goals will also include a series of panels titled “Academy Dialogue: It Starts with Us” allowing conversations between Academy members and the public on subjects concerning race, ethnicity and history in film. 

Whoopi Goldberg is set to lead a public discussion later this year that will interrogate the impact harmful stereotypes have played in Hollywood films, though places like The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media have been doing this for years. 

These new measures set out by the Academy have been a long time coming.

Since 2016, The Oscars has been criticised for its all-white winners, nominees, and films. The #OscarsSoWhite  campaign has been stirring since then, fuelling commitments from The Academy’s committee to promise to double the number of people of colour and women members by 2020.

According to Nicole Sperling, just 8 percent of the Academy are persons of colour and 25 percent are women five years ago. The latest figures show that persons of colour made up 16 percent of the membership and women made up 32 percent. The Academy is currently 81 percent white and 67 percent male. The numbers speak for themselves, don’t they?

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