The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is implementing new diversity quotas that must be met for moviemakers to be considered for the Best Picture Academy Awards.
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday laid out sweeping eligibility reforms to the best picture category intended to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability,” ABC News reported on Wednesday.
The Academy set four representation categories, which will go into effect in 2024: “On screen,” “among the crew,” “at the studio,” and “in opportunities for training and advancement in other aspects of the film’s development and release.”
More specifically, films must have “at least one lead character or a significant supporting character be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.” Otherwise, the film should have at least “30% of secondary roles be from two underrepresented groups,” or the film’s main story, theme, or message “must be focused on an underrepresented group.”
Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement that “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,” and added that “we believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
The second category addresses the creative leadership and crew composition of a film. In order to meet the standard a film must have either at least two leadership positions or department heads be from an underrepresented group and at least one be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least six other crew be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; or at least 30% of the film’s crew be from an underrepresented group.
The third category deals with paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities as well as training opportunities for below-the-line workers, and the fourth category addresses representation in marketing, publicity and distribution teams.
“Cheers” actress Kirstie Alley blasted the new quotas as “dictatorial, saying the rules are akin to “telling Picasso what had to be in his f***ing paintings.”
Writing on Twitter on Tuesday night, Alley said: “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 a**.”
She added: “This is a disgrace to artists everywhere…can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f***ing paintings. You people have lost your minds… Control artists, control individual thought… OSCAR ORWELL.”
Oscar nominee James Woods also said the new eligibility rules were “madness.”