Oscars New Diversity Standard For Best Picture Eligibility Ignites Social Media

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Five years after the Academy awarded all 20 acting nominations to white actors for the first of two straight years, setting Twitter ablaze in the process, the organization has announced new standards for Oscars eligibility in the best picture category.

From 2022, films aiming to win best picture at the Oscars will have to turn in a confidential “inclusion standard form.” And from 2024, the Academy will require a film to meet two of four mandates to qualify for the top prize in film.

The new requirements include starring at least one lead actor or significant supporting actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, the main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film centered on an underrepresented group, and at least two creative leadership positions and department heads from an underrepresented group including women, a racial or ethnic group, LGBTQ+, people with cognitive or physical disabilities or deaf/hard of hearing, among others. [via]

According to the Wrap, this isn’t the first time the Academy used outside factors to determine eligibility. In the 1950s, it disqualified anyone who had been a member of the Communist party or who had refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

They swiftly and strongly rescinded on this decision.

Many believe that this new mandate will be viewed similarly in retrospect.

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Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson defended the organization’s decision in a statement:

“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 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.”