The Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts Hollywood’s Oscars awards show every year, announced this week that certain films must now meet a new set of diversity and inclusion rules in order to qualify.
By 2024, Best Picture award nominees must meet at least two of the four new requirements that “encourage equitable representation on and off screen,” the academy stated.
These requirements include hiring “at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors” that belong to an “underrepresented race or ethnicity.”
Films must also fill 30% of “secondary and more minor roles” with women, LGBT actors, and those with “cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
At least two “creative leadership positions and department heads” must be filled by those belong to underrepresented minorities, including the “casting director, cinematographer, composer, costume designer, director, editor, hairstylist, makeup artist, producer, production designer, set decorator, sound, VFX supervisor and/or writer.”
And, at least six other crew positions must be filled by those belonging to underrepresented groups. Those positions include “but are not limited to, first AD, gaffer, script supervisor,” and more, the academy said.
Additionally, the film’s “production, distribution and/or financing company” must offer “training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development” to people belonging to underrepresented populations.
The new guidelines triggered a wave of backlash. Actress Kirstie Alley called the new standards a “disgrace to artists everywhere,” and argued that these new rules will hamper creativity in the industry.
“Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f–king paintings. You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought .. OSCAR ORWELL,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
She later said:
Diversity and inclusion should be taught, taught so well and so naturally and genuinely that it becomes second nature to our children.
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) September 9, 2020