Filmmakers ‘must’ include LGBTQ, other marginalised groups for Oscar legibility

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Academy Awards on Tuesday published detailed inclusion and diversity guidelines that filmmakers will have to meet in order for their work to be eligible for a best picture Oscar, starting in 2024.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been criticised for honouring few movies and creators of colour, said the standards represent a new phase of a 5-year effort to promote diversity on and off screen.

The rules lay out percentages or numbers of actors, production staff, marketing staff and internships on a movie that must be filled by people of colour, women, people with disabilities or people from the LGBTQ community.

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

The four standards cover diversity representation among actors and subject matter; behind-the-camera staff, such as cinematographers and costume designers; paid apprenticeships and training opportunities; and marketing and publicity.

Criticism of the film academy intensified in 2016 with the social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, a backlash against two consecutive years of an all-white field of acting contenders.

Hollywood has come under further scrutiny this summer. Amid mass protests over systemic racism in the US, streaming service HBO Max added a disclaimer and an introduction to the 1939 Oscar-winning Civil War film Gone with the Wind.

Since 2015, the Academy has doubled the number of women and people of colour in its invitation-only ranks. The Academy’s more than 8,000 members vote to choose the Oscar winners.

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