The Academy announces 'representation and inclusion standards', sets 10 Best Picture noms for Oscars 2022

The Academy is also planning to implement new eligibility requirements, represented in the 5-year effort to promote diversity, which will be finalized by the end of July.

FP Staff June 13, 2020 09:48:08 IST
The Academy announces 'representation and inclusion standards', sets 10 Best Picture noms for Oscars 2022

The Oscars are implementing some big changes, including a set number of best picture nominees and to-be-determined representation and inclusion standards for eligibility.

The Academy announces representation and inclusion standards sets 10 Best Picture noms for Oscars 2022

The Oscars. Image via Reuters

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on 12 June that there will be 10 best picture nominees beginning with the 94th Academy Awards in 2022. The organization is also planning to implement new eligibility requirements, represented in the 5-year effort to promote diversity, which will be finalized by the end of July.

The group said it would work with the Producers Guild of America to convene a task force of industry leaders to develop “representation and inclusion standards” for Oscars eligibility that will “encourage equitable hiring practices on and off screen.”

Neither change will impact the 93rd Academy Awards set to be held in Los Angeles on 28 February, 2021, because it is already deep into the eligibility calendar.

The film academy has shifted the number of best picture nominees several times in its history. In 2009, it was expanded from five to 10, which many thought at the time was in response to the lack of a nomination for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In 2011, the field was allowed to fluctuate from five to 10, which led to some years having more than others. Last year there were nine. In the Academy’s early years, anywhere from eight to 12 films could be nominated for best picture.

The organization that puts on the Oscars is also committing to a new phase of diversity and inclusion initiatives, which it calls Academy Aperture 2025. The first phase, which ended this year, was in response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticisms, a backlash against an all-white field of acting contenders.

The academy responded in part by doubling the number of women and people color in its invitation-only ranks. Still, by 2019 just 32% of its roughly 8,000 members were women, and 16% were people of color. New members will be announced next month.

Also read on Firstpost — Oscars 2020: Number of black nominees hits 3-year low with only five performers in top categories

“While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a written statement. “The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend — and continue to examine — our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.”

Academy President David Rubin added that the leadership and board are committed to weaving, “Equity and inclusion into the fabric of every Academy initiative, committee, program, and event.”

A newly established Office of Representation, Inclusion, and Equity will oversee the Aperture 2025 initiative and will be headed by Academy COO Christine Simmons.

The academy also said that it is continuing efforts to increase diversity in its membership ranks. The new class will be announced in July.

Hollywood has been reckoning with a lack of diversity and portrayal of racism on screen amid protests over the death of George Floyd.

Also read on Firstpost — Selma actor David Oyelowo recounts how protesting against racism led to Oscar snub; The Academy responds, 'we hear you'

Earlier this week, streaming service HBO Max said it was temporarily pulling Oscar-winning film Gone with the Wind.

(With inputs from agencies)

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