The Oscars Are Making A Big Rule Change To Promote Diversity And Inclusion

Academy Award trophies

As the film industry continues to try and improve as far as diversity and inclusion is concerned, it's truly up to those with the real power to make changes happen. There are studios and organizations that carry a lot of influence in the movie world, and it's when they start making real efforts towards change that change actually starts to happen. A perfect example of one such organization is the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, and today they have made a spectacular move to try an improve the future of the industry by making a significant rule change for the Academy Awards

Variety is reporting that a move has officially been made by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences that will necessitate movies to match new representation and inclusion standards if they want to qualify to be nominated for the Best Picture award. The move was made as part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, and the new rules will be enforced starting in 2024. Per the announcement, a film can't be nominated for Best Picture during a given year if it doesn't meet at least two of the four metrics outlined in the Tweet below:

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In this new protocol, the four standards are outlined as follows: A) On-Screen Representation, Themes And Narratives; B) Creative Leadership and Project Team; C) Industry Access And Opportunity; and D) Audience Development. There are specific criterion that must be met within each standard for a film to qualify for the Best Picture race, each of them supporting groups that have been notably underrepresented in the film industry.

The first standard deals with inclusion as it pertains to the content that is in the movie itself. This includes racial and ethnicity representation among leads and supporting characters, general ensemble casts, and within the story that's being told.

"Creative Leadership And Project Team" centers on the individuals who are hired to make the movies that are aiming to qualify for the Best Picture race. Qualifications demand that at least two creative leadership positions/department heads and six technical positions be filled by members of underrepresented groups, and that at least 30% of the crew composition is made up of women, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, or are part of racial or ethnic groups.

Thirdly, "Industry Access and Opportunity" pertains to distribution and financing companies providing jobs for the underrepresented. This includes both apprenticeship and internship opportunities, as well as training and skills development.

Finally, "Audience Development" is concerned with diversity among executives behind a film looking to qualify for Best Picture. Meeting this criterion requires studios to have senior executives from different underrepresented groups involved in marketing, publicity and distribution.

These new rules almost surely won't put an end to all of Hollywood's diversity issues, but it is an impressive move nonetheless, and will hopefully wind up applying a particular pressure on studios that will result in greater inclusion in the film industry. Sound off in the comments section to let us know what you think about these new rules, and stay tuned for more updates on the future of the Oscars here on CinemaBlend.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.