Since the #OscarsSoWhite campaign in 2016, Hollywood has engaged in efforts to become more inclusive. They included doubling its membership of people of colour and women, which The Academy met in 2020. Over 800 new members, including Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerian film director Akin Omotoso (“Tell Me Sweet Something“), and Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet“)—were inducted into The Academy this year.
Now, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided it will require films competing for best picture to meet criteria aimed at fostering a more inclusive Hollywood, finally doing something to ensure that under-represented groups have a shot at the Oscars.
The criteria will take effect starting with the 2024 Academy Awards.
“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” said President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in the statement.
Under the new rules, firms must meet at least two of four new standards that stipulate roles both onscreen and behind the scenes be filled by people from underrepresented groups, including race, women, LGBTQ and people with cognitive or physical disabilities, including the deaf and hard of hearing.
- The first criteria require the movie to feature either a prominent actor from an underrepresented group, 30 per cent of its smaller roles from minorities or to address issues surrounding these communities as its main theme.
- The second stipulates that behind-the-scenes senior leadership or technical crew members must be drawn from historically disadvantaged groups, which also include women, LGBT and disabled communities.
- The final two measures concern offering internships and training to underrepresented workers, and diversity in the movie’s marketing and distribution teams.