Oscars aim for inclusion with new diversity requirements
Notorious for racism, The Academy presented a new set of regulations for inclusion, in four years.
“Inclusion” is the new buzzword these days and the Oscars are jumping on the bandwagon.. After much criticism has been leveled against the historically white and male awards, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the film academy listed a new set of standards for more representation in films eligible to participate in its “Best Picture” category.
Change starts now. We've announced new representation and inclusion standards for Best Picture eligibility, beginning with the 96th #Oscars. Read more here: https://t.co/qdxtlZIVKb pic.twitter.com/hR6c2jb5LM
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) September 9, 2020
For the Academy’s 2024 award show, a special task force was created to meet regulations that include representation both onscreen as well as in the stories depicted in the picture and for those who worked on it behind the scenes.
Now, to be eligible for the “Best Picture,” the film must meet two standards at the very least.
Across the board, there are four categories. They are: on-screen representation, themes and narratives, creative leadership and project team, industry access and opportunities, and finally audience development.
Under each umbrella, different criteria needs to be met revolving around inclusion for groups that are almost always underrepresented or not portrayed at all, which include women, POC, LGBTQ+ and those with disabilities.
The small catch is that not all of the Oscar categories will have to meet the criteria. However, previously, the only standard there was to qualify for “Best Picture” was that the production had to be longer than 40 minutes and the venue where and when it was filmed was also considered.
“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,” said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson. “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.”
But this news did not come without backlash.
Actress Kristie Alley a rather ill-informed analogy criticizing the push for inclusion. “Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f**king paintings? Control artists, control individual thought.”
Unsurprisingly, she later retracted her statement and attempted to explain her recant.
What is actually overlooked is that these new standards will not go into effect until 2024, which comes off as a rather far point in the future.
Why does it take so many years to add rules that create inclusion if they were created now? Why not just apply it for next year's awards?