BrandsOscar’s new diversity rules spark conversation about race

The new rules meant to promote diversity in the film industry received criticism from Kirstie Alley, James Woods
Michael HeusnerSeptember 9, 2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new diversity and inclusion eligibility requirements for Oscars in the Best Picture category, and not everyone is happy about it.  

The film Academy says that movies wishing to be considered for Best Picture will be required to meet at least two of four diversity standards, beginning in 2024.

Films would be required to hit specific diversity targets in at least two standards made up of the following categories:

  • A1. Leads or significant supporting actors
  • A2. General ensemble cast
  • A3. Main storyline/subject matter
  • B1. Creative leadership and department heads
  • B2. Other key roles
  • B3. Overall crew composition
  • C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities
  • C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)
  • D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution

But while the move is meant to address the persistent lack of representation of people of color throughout the history of the Oscars, not everyone was thrilled about the move.

“Cheers,” actress Kirstie Alley lashed out at the changes stating “This is a disgrace to artists everywhere,” in a now-deleted tweet. 

She ultimately decided on a more palatable message, to her express grievances.

But Alley wasn’t the only one upset by the new rules with theater and television actor James Howard Woods calling the move, “madness.”

Still, the Academy remained undeterred.

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

“Harriet,” star Cynthia Erivo was the only person of color to be nominated for an Oscar in this year’s acting categories.

Michael Heusner

Michael is a senior correspondent at Marcom Weekly covering news, brands and feature stories.

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