The Academy Responds to Best Picture Inclusion Standards: 5 Questions and Answers


On September 8, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences dropped a bombshell: Starting with the 2024 Oscars, any film that wanted Best Picture consideration would need to reflect inclusion standards both on screen and behind the camera. The move immediately drew both avid supporters and detractors.

Actress Kirstie Alley unleashed an indignant torrent of tweets after the academy announced its new standards, calling the guidelines “a disgrace to artists everywhere.” (Alley has deleted her original tweet, but remnants remain.)

I’ve been in the motion picture Academy for 40 years. The Academy celebrates freedom of UNBRIDLED artistry expressed through movies. The new RULES to qualify for “best picture” are dictatorial .. anti-artist..Hollywood you’re swinging so far left you’re bumping into your own ass

— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) September 9, 2020

The Black List founder Franklin Leonard had a more optimistic view.

Having taken a little but not enough time with them, I think I think of the Oscars diversity standards as a dual statement:

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) September 9, 2020

1. An extremely mild one encouraging producers and distributors to engage with content that’s not made by and about solely white straight cis men.

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) September 9, 2020

2. A slightly stronger statement that you can’t be a corporate citizen in good industry standing without doing the absolute barest minimum to ensure that there’s SOME diverse talent below the line and at your company coming through the pipeline.

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) September 9, 2020

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It’s also the culmination of a process that ignited when April Reign created #OscarsSoWhite in the face of the 2015 Academy Awards. That social-media movement blindsided the Academy as it struggled to justify the awards-season optics of an industry that long preferred lip service to actual change. With the racial justice protests of 2020, those questions became even more acute.

First up was the A2020 initiative, launched in 2015 with the goal of doubling the number of women and people of color in the Academy. Led by membership executives Meredith Shea, producer DeVon Franklin, and Lorenza Muñoz, A2020 surpassed its goals. The next target is  Academy Aperture 2025, with standards adapted in part from the British Film Institute Diversity Standards used for certain funding eligibility in the UK and …read more

Source:: Indiewire


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