By Damon Mitchell • 09 September 2020 • 15:23
THE Oscars have begun to modify their regulations to ensure that the films nominated for Best Picture meet requirements of inclusion and racial and ethnic diversity, following an announcement by the Hollywood Academy.
Such inclusion standards (Academy Inclusion Standards) will not be strictly enforced until the Oscars 2024 awards but will be contemplated from 2022, while in the imminent edition they will not be taken into account since the vast majority of aspiring film projects are already released.
Among the requirements are that at least one of the stars represents minorities, or that 30 per cent of the secondary cast does, as well as that the technical team behind the cameras also complies with that percentage.
“We believe that these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for essential and lasting change in our industry,” said the institution’s president, David Rubin, and CEO Dawn Hudson in a joint statement.
The announcement adds to the heat of the social and media debate in the U.S., between the racial protests and Trump’s immigration policies. However, the demand that the Oscars is more inclusive is a historical one for the industry, which in recent years has gained momentum with the #OscarsSoWhite movement.
The Hollywood Academy says it is aware that the lack of diversity among its nominees reflected the work dynamics in the American audiovisual industry.
According to the directors, the new regulation is an “opening” that aims to make films recognised at the Oscars “reflect the diverse global population” both when creating films and when presenting them to the audience.
For the Oscars of 2022 and 2023, all the films that want to compete will deliver a card showing the requirements they meet, although they will not be required until 2024, during the 96th edition of the gala. The Hollywood Academy has stipulated that aspiring productions for best film must meet at least two out of four standards, which are: Screen representation, creative team, opportunities for access to the audiovisual industry and / or promotion of audiences.
For the section on-screen representation and narrative, the film will have to include one of the following three criteria: that one of its stars is from a racial minority; that 30 per cent of the secondary cast is from underrepresented groups or that the plot focuses on the history of one of these groups.
Regarding the creative team section, the three criteria among which one must meet are: At least two of the creative management positions must be from underrepresented groups; that they are part of six lower positions or that at least 30 per cent of the team is from those groups.
In addition, the standards for access opportunities and for the development and promotion of audiences require that the positions of scholarship holders and apprentices or of managers and publicists of each project contemplate these diversity criteria.
By racial minority, the Academy cites Asian, Latino / Hispanic, Black / African American, Native American, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific, and “other underrepresented ethnicities or races.” And by groups underrepresented on the screen, it is understood: women, racial minorities, LGBTQ + collective or people with different capacities.
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