Quite possibly the biggest awards show that takes place annually, the Oscars, are now going to have to follow new procedures and a set of standards for its best category. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new set of standards this week as part of its measures to improve the representation in film for underrepresented racial minorities, women, LGBTQ people and also those with disabilities.
A statement uploaded to the Academy’s website outlined details of four categories of standards of films out of which two must be met in order to be considered for a best picture nomination. The four standards have been put into place in order to deal with a variety of issues pertaining to on-screen representation for actors from underrepresented groups. This will be in both casting and in the theme or subject matter of films, as well as off-screen opportunities.
Change starts now. We've announced new representation and inclusion standards for Best Picture eligibility, beginning with the 96th #Oscars. Read more here: https://t.co/qdxtlZIVKb pic.twitter.com/hR6c2jb5LM
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) September 9, 2020
Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement accompanying the announcement that the Oscars, “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.” They went on to add, “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
These changes and standards will now be reflected in the 2022 Academy Awards. This week’s announcement comes after a number of campaigns have been aimed at raising awareness surrounding white actors and films about white actors dominating the Oscars. It was in 2015 that netizens created the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to protest the fact that 20 best actor nominees in 2015 included only white actors. The hashtag immediately went viral and started trending on all social media platforms.
This year’s Oscars however, made history when a film by South Korean filmmaker, Parasite, became the first international film to win the best picture category. Here are some of the responses to the Academy’s announcement:
This is incredible
— Edward Sanchez (@edwardistheman) September 9, 2020
— Lana (@MakeForgotte) September 9, 2020
Sounds good in theory, we’ll see what the results are in practice. Looking forward to the show’s future.
— Kevin The Critic (@kevin_thecritic) September 9, 2020
The right call. Bravo! pic.twitter.com/rtDGZrQVsN
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) September 9, 2020