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Oscars goes ‘woke’ – “Best Movie” must be inclusive and check all the ‘diversity’ boxes

According to the academy, underrepresented groups include women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ or people with disabilities. The best picture award is the one category every film academy member can vote for.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), popularly known as Oscars, on Tuesday, announced new eligibility reforms to qualify for the best picture category that intends to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and disability.

In an effort to add a bit of flavor of ‘diversity’ to its awards, the Academy Awards has now gone ‘woke’ as on Tuesday it announced that the movies in order to be eligible for the Academy Award for Best Picture beginning in 2024 must meet certain criteria in terms of representation.

Under the new initiative called Aperture 2025, the AMPAs intends to “encourage equitable representation on and off-screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience”.

Reportedly, as part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, AMPAS has announced new representation and inclusion standards in order to be eligible in the best picture category. The film academy has established four broad representation categories: 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.

The moviemakers will now have to submit confidential inclusion standards forms, however, they will not be required for the 94th and 95th Academy Awards. These major changes, however, will not affect the 93rd Academy Awards.

Awards to represent underrepresented racial or ethnic group, LGBT, women and people of colour

Further, each standard has been divided into subcategories. Under the on-screen representation category, a film must either have at least one lead character or a significant supporting character be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, at least 30% of secondary roles must be from two underrepresented groups or the main storyline, theme or narrative must be focused on an underrepresented group.

According to the academy, underrepresented groups include women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ or people with disabilities. The best picture award is the one category every film academy member can vote for.

The second category is for the creative leadership and crew composition of a film. To qualify for the second category of awards, the film must have either at least two leadership positions or department heads be from underrepresented groups and at least one be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.

At least six other crew members be from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups or at least 30% of crew members be from underrepresented groups to eligible for the Academy awards under this category.

The third category is pertaining to the paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities as well as training opportunities for below-the-line workers. the fourth category addresses representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution teams.

Reportedly, these inclusion standards were developed by a team led by academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos and in consultation with the Producers Guild of America.

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