The Hollywood Film Academy revealed on Tuesday (8), in a historic announcement, new and strict rules of eligibility to foster diversity among those nominated for the Oscar for best film.
From 2024 onwards, all films that intend to win the most coveted prize in the film industry will need to have a minimum number of employees in the promotion, in the production and administrative teams of underrepresented ethnic minorities, or directly address issues that affect these communities.
The innovative rule comes after years of criticism for the lack of diversity among members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and among the nominees and Oscar winners selected by them.
And while the Academy has taken steps to diversify its members, the new rules mark a more aggressive bet to reshape Hollywood’s overall performance in relation to diversity.
“We believe that these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for lasting and essential change in our industry,” said the president of the Academy, David Rubin, and the institution’s director general, Dawn Hudson, in a statement.
According to the new rules, works that compete in the category of best film will have to meet at least two of the four criteria created to improve hiring and representation practices on and off the screen.
The first criterion requires that the film’s protagonist be from an underrepresented group, or that 30% of secondary roles be distributed among minorities, or that the problems surrounding these communities be addressed as the main theme of the work.
As a second point, it is stipulated that the main figures behind the scenes are part of historically disadvantaged groups, including women, LGBTQ communities and people with disabilities.
The last two measures refer to the provision of internships and training for underrepresented groups, and to diversity in the marketing and distribution teams.
Since 2015 and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign (Oscar Oscar Branco Branco), the Academy has made an effort to expand the diversity among its members.
The institution pledged to double the number of women and non-white members present by 2020, after requests for the award to be boycotted.
The Academy has surpassed these goals, with a total of 45% women after the new members admitted this year, and 36% minorities.
This move is the result of a new diversity working group announced in June, weeks after massive protests against racism broke out in the United States in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis (north ).
The new rules are based on the standards implemented by the UK BAFTA awards and were “created to foster equitable representation on and off the screen to better reflect the diversity of the audience watching the films,” explained the Academy.
The works that intend to compete for the Oscar for best film in 2022 and 2023 will not be subject to these rules, but must present confidential data on diversity to the Academy.
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