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Oscar Shakes Up Best Picture Eligibility Standards; Strict New Diversity Requirements Take Full Effe

As promised when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative in June, new standards of representation and inclusion have been announced by AMPAS today that will gradually be put in place for the 94th (2022) and 95th (2023) Oscars but in full effect beginning with the 96th Academy Awards in 2024. In its most dramatic swing toward true diversity, Oscar is laying down significant requirements in order to be eligible for Hollywood’s most sought-after prize: Best Picture.

Having at least one Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or unspecified other underrepresented race or ethnicity as a “lead or significant supporting actor” is a potential requirement under the new guidelines, with those ethnicities also mentioned for prominent production and marketing jobs. Additionally, employing women, LGBTQ+, members of a racial or ethnic group, and people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing might be required for at least 30% of actors in secondary and more minor roles; having a storyline centered on an underrepresented group; hiring creative leadership and department heads; maintaining least 30% crew composition; paid internships; and representation in marketing and distribution also are potential areas in order to be a Best Picture contender. Producers don’t have to meet all of the requirements of the new doctrine, just half.

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