The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday unveiled new “representation and inclusion” requirements for Best Picture Oscar nominees.
The announcement: In a press release, the Academy said movies would need to fulfill a series of quotas “on and off screen” in order to be eligible for its most coveted award starting in 2024.
According to the Academy, the standards are intended to “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”
- “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. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” read a statement signed by Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
- “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
The quotas: To be eligible for best picture, a movie must meet at least two standards across four categories:
- Feature at least one actor from an “underrepresented racial or ethnic group,” such as black, Indigenous or “Latinx” in a leading role; or ensure at least 30% of the cast is from such a group or is female, disabled or “LGBTQ+”; or make the movie about one or more of the groups.
- Hire at least two creative leaders or 30% of the crew from the underrepresented groups based on race, gender, sexuality and disability; or hire at least six other key team members from the underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.
- Offer paid apprenticeships or internships and training opportunities to members of the underrepresented groups.
- Hire multiple senior executives for in-house marketing, publicity or distribution from the underrepresented groups.
- In January 2015, BroadwayBlack.com managing editor April Reign created the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in response to all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting acting categories being white male actors for a second consecutive year.
The pushback: On Twitter, many liberals cheered the Academy’s embrace of progressive identitarianism.
Kyle Buchanan, The New York Times pop culture reporter and awards season columnist, hailed the standards as a “watershed.”
But critics of social justice ideology, like conservative commentator Buck Sexton, lambasted what he saw as Hollywood political correctness run amok.
Actor James Woods was among those who named famous movies that would seemingly not meet the Academy’s on-screen standards.
Actress Kirstie Alley called the news a “disgrace to artists everywhere.”
“Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f*cking paintings. You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought .. OSCAR ORWELL,” she said in one since-deleted tweet.
Alley later clarified that while she is “100% behind diversity inclusion & tolerance,” she opposes “MANDATED ARBITRARY percentages relating to hiring human beings in any business.”