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Best Picture films must meet diversity criteria under new rules

The film industry has long been criticised for its failures on representation.

The new rules are intended to ensure that the Oscars are more representative.
The new rules are intended to ensure that the Oscars are more representative.
Image: Hahn-Nebinger/ABACA

NEW RULES WILL attempt to ensure that the Academy Awards are more inclusive and representative and will see films disqualified from the Best Picture Oscar if they don’t meet certain criteria. 

The “representation and inclusion standards”, announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will mean that for the 96th Oscars in 2024 films will need to meet two of the four ‘standards’. 

“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,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. 

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” they said. 

The film industry has long been criticised for its failures on representation, with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in 2015 and 2016 being used to highlight the lack of diversity at the prestigious awards. 

Since then, criticism has continued that the film industry and the Oscars voting membership has failed reform itself. 

The reforms announced today are intended to ensure better representation for women, racial or ethnic groups, LGBT people and those with mental or physical disabilities. 

The reforms will attempt to ensure that acting and storylines will include “at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group”, while also stressing the need to involve a more diverse range of people in creative leadership positions and in film crews. 

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Senior film executives on marketing and publicity teams will also need to be drawn from underrepresented groups.

For the 2022 and 2023 Oscars, films applying for Best Picture will need to submit a confidential “inclusion standards” form. 

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