Diversity Requirements For Oscars Are Announced

Insider Articles
Kyle Brester
September 9, 2020
by Kyle Brester
Parasite
Neon Rated
Neon Rated

Yesterday, the Oscars had announced their new representation and inclusion guidelines for films to be eligible for the Best Picture category. These standards will slowly be placed for the 94th (2022) and 95th (2023) Oscars but will be put into full effect in 2024's 96th Oscars.

These standards seem to be a solid starting point in making changes to not only being more inclusive in the Oscars but also in the entertainment industry as a whole. We are still years away from seeing the full effect of these standards and whether they need to be adjusted or not, but I think they are good enough for a starting point to figure out possible kinks. As much as I wish that we didn't have to apply rules in order to get minorities jobs and more representation in film, these do seem to be a good starting point to make that the new normal.

The Academy has enlisted four standards to qualify for Best Picture, and the films must meet two of the four to standards:

STANDARD A: On-Screen Representation, Themes, and Narratives:

A1. Lead or significant supporting actors
At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group:
  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Black/African American
  • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Middle Eastern/North African
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

A2. General ensemble cast
At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

A3. Main storyline/subject matter
The main storyline(s) theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s):
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD B: Creative Leadership And Project Team:

B1. Creative leadership and department heads
At least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads - Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer - are from the following underrepresented groups:
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:
  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Black/African American
  • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Middler Eastern/ North African
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

B2. Other key roles
At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc.

B3. Overall crew composition
At least 30% of the film's crew is from the following underrepresented groups
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD C: Industry Access And Opportunities:
To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities
The film's distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing, and publicity.

C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)
The film's production, distribution, and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD D: Audience Development
To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution
The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
  • Women
  • Racial or ethnic group
  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Black/African American
  • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Middle Eastern/North African
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Other underrepresented race or ethnicity
  • LGBTQ+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

Academy Aperture 2025 is the next phase of the Academy’s equity and inclusion initiative furthering the organization’s ongoing efforts to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community.
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