The Academy of Arts and Sciences for Feature Films announced Tuesday that filmmakers and studios will soon have to meet new standards in order to submit a film for Best Picture as part of its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative to make the Oscars more inclusive.
“The opening needs to be expanded to reflect our diverse world populations both in the making of films and the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing an important role in achieving this goal, ”the Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. "We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for lasting, significant change in our industry."
For the 94th and 95th ceremonies – 2022 and 2023 – filmmakers must submit a confidential form for standards for admission to the Academy in order to be considered. For the 96th award in 2024, however, Best Picture's hopefuls must meet at least two of four new standards.
Under Standard A, at least one “Leading Actor or Major Supporting Actor” must be either “Asian, Hispanic / Latin American, Black / African American, Indigenous / Native / Alaskan, Middle East / North African, Hawaiian, or another Pacific Islander”. "Or" Other underrepresented race or ethnicity. "
The remainder of the cast consists of at least 30 percent “women, races or ethnic groups, LGBTQ +” or “people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing. ”
The main plot, narrative or theme of the film must also focus on one of the groups mentioned above.
At least two members of the same group must be on the management of the film to meet Standard B, including: "Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairdresser, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Designer, Sound, VFX Supervisor , Writer. "
In addition, at least one of these positions must be filled by a member of one of the ethnic groups listed in Standard A, while six other crew members – with the exception of production assistants – must belong to an under-represented or ethnic group. At least 30 percent of the total crew must be women, racial or ethnic minorities, LGBTQ + people, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
The two remaining standards address similar diversity requirements in terms of paid internships, as well as in advertising, marketing and sales.
Regardless of how some people have chosen to interpret the rules, a film that does not have a diverse cast for historical or other reasons would not be disqualified as a best picture nominee – the makers just have to seek inclusion by making it have diverse leadership behind the camera and elsewhere on the set.
Of course, Hollywood's right-wing audience – who seem to believe by the rules that there can be no more films about whites – are not happy with the new standards. The actor became Trump-supporting Twitter personality James Woods simply tweeted "Madness". Kirstie Alley tweeted, then deleted, “This is a shame for artists everywhere. Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his royal paintings? You people have lost your mind. Control artists, control individual thoughts. OSCAR ORWELL. "
She explained her thoughts in a follow-up tweet, saying that she is "100 percent behind diversity, inclusion and tolerance," but doesn't like percentages.
I deleted my first tweet about the new best movie rules, OSCARS, because I felt it was a bad analogy and misrepresented my point of view. I am 100% behind Diversity Inclusion & Tolerance. I'm against MANDATED ARBITRARY percentages related to hiring people in a company.
– Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) September 9, 2020
In January, the academy was 84 percent white and 68 percent male. In the 90-year history of the Oscars, only two films directed by Black Directors have won the title of "Best Picture".
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