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Oscars outline new inclusivity standards following controversy

Four years after the viral #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and awards show boycott.

Oscars Getty

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new diversity and inclusion standards, following years of debate and controversy over the awards show. The standards, which were modeled after BAFTAs’ diversity rules, outline new eligibility requirements for the Oscars Best Picture Award and will go into effect in 2024.

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” Academy President David Rubin and Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

According to reports, the standards are just the first phase of a five-year effort to promote diversity on and off-screen. Criticism of the Oscars peaked in 2016 with the viral #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, where users condemned the awards show’s lack of diversity among contenders. Actors and famed directors, like Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith, boycotted the show in an act of protest.

“For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color [and] actresses of color to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable,” Academy member David Oyelowo told Hollywood Reporter that same year, in reference to his portrayal of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, which went unacknowledged.

The new standards will outline required percentages of talent and staff roles that must be filled by women, minority groups, people with disabilities or people who identify within the LGBTQI community.

Additional rules require films to provide paid internships and training opportunities to underrepresented minority groups, to feature film storylines about marginalized communities, to promote diversity in both on-screen and off-screen roles and more. Films must meet two out of the four new standard categories in order to be eligible for the Best Picture award.

See photos of the Academy’s new standards on Twitter below or read them in their entirety here.

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