Equity is coming to the Oscars.
The Academy Awards have long received critique and backlash for their lack of effort to ensure diversity among its nominees. The criticism of these practices dates back to its first show in 1929. Since then, only 6.4% of academy award nominees have been people of color. Since 1991, only 11.2% of the academy’s nominees have been people of color. What’s worse, according to research, white actors have managed to build their careers on winning Oscars for roles in which they played the parts of POC. In fact, more women who are white have won Oscars for brownface and yellowface portrayals of women of color than actual actresses of color.
This year, the Academy is finally making an effort to change.
On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they made new eligibility requirements for the top prize at the Oscars.
Under the new guidelines for the ceremony’s Best Picture award, films are required to meet two out of four standards. They are: “on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.”
“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the Academy said in a statement.
The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category starting with the 96th Academy Award which will air in 2024.
“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,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.
The academy’s newest requirements outline that “films must have at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors represent an underrepresented racial group, with at least 30 percent of all actors in minor roles from underrepresented groups.”
It gets better though! The show will require those submitting projects to ensure diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well. The academy is also encouraging projects to ensure women who are either part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as people with disabilities.
Here’s to a better award show!
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