New standards for the Oscar’s best picture nominations require films to have racial, LGBTQ, and gender diversity, both in their films and behind the scenes.
The rules, released on Tuesday (September 8), require films who wish to qualify for the best picture nomination in 2024 and beyond to meet two of four standards regarding representation in the cast, subject matter, and creative leadership. The four standards are as such: On-screen Representation, Themes, and Narratives; Creative Leadership and Project Team; Industry Access and Opportunities; and Audience Development.
Criteria to meet these standards includes, but is not limited to, having a main storyline, theme, or narrative that’s center on an underrepresented group (women, racial minorities, LGBTQ people, and people with cognitive or physical disabilities); having at least two creative leadership positions and department heads filled by someone from an underrepresented group; having paid apprenticeships or internships for underrepresented groups; and having underrepresented groups on marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
The Oscars has received flak over the last few years for its lack of diversity. These new rules are the most recent move by the Academy in its plan to make its voting bloc more diverse.
“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 CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality.”
While 2021’s Oscars have been sidelined due to the postponement of film releases and the closure of theaters due to the coronavirus pandemic, films seeking the best picture nomination in 2022 and 2023 will have to submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form before the above requirements go fully into effect in 2024.