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New Oscars Best Picture Inclusion and Diversity Standards

Films Will Soon Have to Meet These Diversity Standards to Win Best Picture at the Oscars

HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 20:  A display case is seen full of Oscar statues February 20, 2004 in Hollywood, California. These are the Oscar statuettes that will be handed out on February 29 at the 76th Academy Awards ceremony and will be on display at the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex.  (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

The Oscars are finally bringing diversity and inclusion to the forefront. On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new representation requirements that films must meet in order to be eligible for the best picture award, starting with the 96th Oscars in 2024. The criteria are made to "encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience," as stated in a press release. Come 2024, all movies hoping to snag the top accolade of the night at the Oscars must adhere to two of the four following standards to be considered in the first place.

1. On-Screen Representation, Themes, and Narratives

In order to meet this requirement, the film must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A lead actor or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
  • At least 30 percent of all actors in the general ensemble cast are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
  • The main storyline of the film revolves around one of the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.

2. Creative Leadership and Project Team

In order to meet this requirement, the film must meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least two creative leadership or department head positions (i.e. casting director, costume designer, makeup artist, writer, and so on) are held by a person from one of the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities. At least one of those same positions belongs to someone from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
  • At least six other crew or technical team members are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. This excludes production assistants and instead includes positions like gaffer, script supervisor, and first assistant director.
  • At least 30 percent of the film's crew is from one of the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.

3. Industry Access and Opportunities

In order to meet this requirement, the film must meet both of the following criteria:

  • The film's distribution or financing company offers paid apprenticeships or internships that are inclusive of the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
  • The film's production, distribution, and/or financing company offers training opportunities and skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.

4. Audience Development

In order to meet this requirement, the film must meet the following criterion:

  • The studio and/or film company has multiple senior executives on the marketing and publicity teams from the following underrepresented groups: women, a racial or ethnic group, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities.

You can check out a more nitty-gritty breakdown of each requirement over on the Oscars website, and if you're still craving more award show intel after, be sure to get the lowdown on what's in store for the 2021 award season next.

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Image Source: Getty / Carlo Allegri
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