The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is responsible for the annual Academy Awards, has implemented sweeping new restrictions and requirements that will determine which films can be nominated for Best Picture, with the guidelines focusing exclusively on adding more “diversity” to the nominees, as reported by ABC.
The new rules will go into effect starting in 2024, which will feature the 96th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. There are four categories of representation that must be met in order for a film to be considered “diverse” enough: “On screen,” “among the crew,” “at the studio,” and “in opportunities for training and advancement in other aspects of the film’s development and release.”
More specifically, films must have “at least one lead character or a significant supporting character be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.” Otherwise, the film should have at least “30% of secondary roles be from two underrepresented groups,” or the film’s main story, theme, or message “must be focused on an underrepresented group.”
In a statement supporting the decision, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson declared 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,” and added that “we believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
The upcoming 93rd, 94th, and 95th ceremonies, in the years 2021, 2022, and 2023, will be the final Academy Awards ceremonies to not be impacted by these arbitrary new changes. Previous Oscar ceremonies had faced left-wing backlash on social media for a perceived lack in diversity in nominees and winners, even though the awards are ostensibly supposed to be handed out based on merit and quality, rather than representation.