Changes are finally being made to the Academy Awards — five years after #OscarsSoWhite hashtag went viral. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that in order to be considered for Best Picture, there are certain inclusion requirements that must be met, which will officially begin in 2024.
“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,” David Rubin, Academy President, and Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO, said in a statement.
“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the statement added.
In order to be considered for Best Picture, films must meet two of four standards — on-screen representation, themes and narratives, creative leadership and project team, industry access and opportunities, and audience development.
In order to meet the on-screen requirements, at least one of the lead actors or a significant amount of supporting actors must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, while 30 percent of all actors in smaller roles must come from either women, the LGBTQ community, an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, or people with disabilities. In addition, 30 percent of the film crew should be made up of underrepresented communities, too.
In 2022 and 2023 — which is the 94th Oscars and 95th Oscars, respectively — movies will have to submit an inclusion form in order to be considered for the prestigious award.
However, some social media users were quick to critique the new rules. One person wrote, “JUST REWARD GOOD CINEMA!!!” while another echoed, “What? So it’s no longer about what’s the best movie it’s about what’s the best woke movie?” A third user added, “Or how about you just vote for the best film? Parasite wouldn’t meet any of these requirements and it was still the best movie last year.”
In June, the Academy admitted more women and people of color to join the voting group.
For the time being, the 93rd Academy Awards was moved to April 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.