Earlier this year, following the global Black Lives Matter protests, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promised new diversity and inclusion measures to be implemented across most sectors of the Awards Show. This week, the Academy had announced that Best Picture nominees at the Academy Awards will soon be required to meet a new slate of diversity requirements. The requirements are promised to ensure POC, women, LGBTQI+ folks and communities, differently-abled people, and other marginalized groups are given appropriate equity within all aspects of the filmmaking process.
It is reported that beginning with the 2024 Oscars, awards submissions for Best Picture will need to meet two out of four “inclusion and representation” standards set by the Academy. These will include areas such as On-Screen Representation, Themes, and Narratives; Creative Leadership and Project Team; Industry Access and Opportunities; and Audience Development.
This change comes after years of controversy surrounding the Oscars' implicit bias against marginalised groups. The Academy has previously come under scrutiny for lack of diversity among nominees with the notorious use of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite on social media.
In a statement released between Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson earlier this week, the pair stated that “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”. They also added that “the Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality”.
But why don't these changes start now? It seems odd to implement base-line inclusion standards that won't come into effect for over three years. The Academy have addressed this, suggesting that until the new guidelines are enacted in 2024 they plan to implement an additional step in the Best Picture nomination process to ensure equity is being met on all productions up for consideration. For the 2022 and 2023 Academy Awards, submissions for Best Picture consideration will need to submit a confidential Academy inclusion standard form before being eligible for a Best Picture nomination.