Oscars Unveil New Diversity Requirements for Best Picture Nominees

Oscar Statue (Credit: Deposit Photos)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that oversees the Oscars, announced new standards Tuesday for the best picture category that aim to “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”

The Academy shared details in a news release that the new “representation and inclusion” standards will take effect in 2024. Films will have to meet two of four guidelines to qualify for the category.

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

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For the 94th Oscars (2022) and 95th Oscars (2023), participants will be required to submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form for Best Picture consideration. However, meeting inclusion thresholds will not be required for eligibility in the Best Picture category until the 96th Oscars (2024).

To qualify for the “on-screen representation” standard, at least one lead or significant supporting actor will need to be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. Plus, the storyline will need to focus on underrepresented groups, including people with physical disabilities or the LGBTQ community.

This move comes as a part of the “Academy Aperture 2025” initiative, which is described as “The next phase of the Academy’s equity and inclusion initiative furthering the organization’s ongoing efforts to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community.”

Over recent years, the Oscars have repeatedly faced criticism for a lack of nominees of color.