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Oscars announce mandatory 'inclusion' requirements for Best Picture contenders

'It's no longer Best Picture, it's the Most Politically Correct Picture.'

David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that films hoping to be nominated for the Best Picture category starting in 2024 must meet a number of "inclusion" requirements in order to be considered, as part of the organization's initiative to mandate a certain level of diversity in Hollywood and beyond.

What are the details?

People magazine reported that in order for new flicks to be in the running for the coveted Oscar for Best Picture, "films must meet two of four standards which are on-screen representation, themes, and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development."

Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement announcing the new standards:

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. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.

A reporter from The New York Times posted the new affirmative action requirements on Twitter, noting that any film hoping to contend for Best Picture must meet two of four categories laid out by the academy. The first standard listed requires that at least one lead character "or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group," listing off that they must be either "Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander," or "other underrepresented race or ethnicity."

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Among the new standards, those concerning onscreen representation are likely to garner the most scrutiny. Indeed, some recent best picture nominees that featured almost exclusively white and male casts — including the World War I film "1917" and the gangster epic "The Irishman" — might have had difficulty meeting the new onscreen standards. Those standards require one of the following: at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from certain underrepresented groups; or the main storyline, theme or narrative is centered on an underrepresented group.

The news brought mixed reviews on social media. One person tweeted in reaction, "Finally! Majority of my life, I've watched mostly white actors on screen, championing stories from characters that do not necessarily look like me, or reflect anything remotely-like my life. Also felt the execs and investors didn't want to produce movies those type of movies."

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell wrote, "The Democrats controlling Hollywood demand changes to the Oscars. It's no longer the Best Picture, it's the Most Politically Correct Picture."

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