Academy unveils new diversity rules for its Best Picture

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Bong Joon-ho, winner of the awards for best original screenplay, best international feature film, best directing, and best picture for "Parasite," arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Bong Joon-ho, winner of the awards for best original screenplay, best international feature film, best directing, and best picture for Parasite (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled new criteria for the eligibility of Best Picture, its most coveted award at the Oscars.

New rules published today aim to ensure that diversity in movie production is adhered to and rewarded, after years of criticism over its failure to represent the industry.

A four-point system has been created, which will see Academy members having to meet at least two for the nomination.

In a statement, the Academy's president David Rubin and its CEO Dawn Hudson said: “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.

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

Standard A is on-screen representation, themes and narratives, which will require at least one 'lead or significant support actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group'.

Among a movie's wider cast, at least 30% will need to be from at least two under represented groups, from race and ethnicity to LGBTQ or disabled people.

Read more: Social justice movies lead London Film Festival

Storylines and subject matter relating to under represented groups will also need to be taken into consideration for successful nominations.

Standard B focuses on diversity within the 'creative leadership and project team', while Standard C relates to a movie's 'industry access and opportunities', meaning the openness of a production to diversity in its interns or apprenticeships.

Standard D centres on a movie's 'audience development', meaning that a studio has to have 'multiple in-house senior executives from underrepresented groups' on their production teams, from marketing and publicity to distribution.

The rules will come in for the 2024 awards onwards.

For the ceremonies taking place in 2022 and 2022, an 'Academy inclusion standards form' will be required.