‘A disgrace to all artists’ or not enough? Hollywood spars over woke diversity quota for future Oscar ‘Best Picture’ award
The Motion Picture Academy has ignited a firestorm of debate after issuing a new set of “inclusion standards” for future Oscar awards, requiring filmmakers to hire talent from certain demographics to qualify for ‘Best Picture.’
The new standards were handed down on Tuesday, establishing rules for the 2024 Oscars which were designed to “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience,” the Academy said in a statement, though noted they would apply only the Best Picture category.
“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,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, adding that the rules “will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”Also on rt.com 'We should be allowed to say what we want': Idris Elba blasts censorship of movies & TV over offensive material
The standards require that filmmakers hire actors and other workers from “underrepresented groups,” which pertains to race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Beginning in 2024, to qualify for the highly coveted Best Picture award, films will have to meet two of four sets of detailed criteria laid out by the Academy. While films will not be held to the standards for another four years, in the meantime all submissions will have to include an “inclusion standards form” regardless.
The decision has set off fierce dispute online, among both average movie-goers as well as industry insiders, including writers, actors, directors and producers.
“This is a disgrace to artists everywhere...can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f**king paintings[?]” actress Kirstie Alley tweeted. “You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought... OSCAR ORWELL.”
Too many Italians in the Godfather. https://t.co/tPABqTxl1k— Francis J. Beckwith (@fbeckwith) September 9, 2020
Oscars aren’t Oscars anymore just a racial/identity set aside quota program that has nothing to do w quality, art, or making a great movie. At least casting becomes more important since it’s about casting the most current recognized victim or victim class. Boring! @Variety@THR— Val Wayne (@valwayne) September 9, 2020
Even some who supported the idea in concept asked whether the rules would merely encourage more “tokens and stereotypes on screen,” fearing it might become a lazy quota system rather than a way to meaningfully propel diversity and inclusion.
I’m all for diversifying films but something about this Oscars thing feels off like films are gonna just start adding random characters to meet a quota rather than actually flesh them out but we’ll see.— chloe (@NYCChloe) September 9, 2020
This is a step forward, sure, but I’m still worried this will just encourage people to put even more tokens and stereotypes onscreen. I wouldn’t put it past someone to make Oscar bait and put more people of color in subservient roles to meet a quota.Yes, the system is broken. https://t.co/MPts9zBbAJ— Matt Cipolla (wear a mask) (@CipollaMatt) September 9, 2020
The new standards found plenty of support, however, including from veteran film producer Axel Kuschevatzky, who boasts more than 80 feature credits under his belt.
As a producer I fully support @TheAcademy´s new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility. Please, read the new guidelines to understand the complete extent of the initiative and why is so important.https://t.co/PraD4512vO— aхel ĸυѕcнevaтzĸy (@AxelKuschevatzk) September 9, 2020
New Oscars standards require best picture contenders must be inclusive to compete https://t.co/78mSeV3ou8 This will make some people mad. But movies should have been more inclusive to begin with.— Kevin C. Johnson (@kevincjohnson) September 9, 2020
Others brought a wholly different type of criticism, with comedy writer Allison Kilkenny arguing the rules didn’t go nearly far enough and set a “laughably low bar” for diversity in film, while another online detractor dubbed them “ridiculous pandering with no real change.”
The new Oscars diversity standards are so laughably low bar but it’s very telling that people are still losing their shit over them— Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) September 9, 2020
This does zero to address the systems at play that have created barriers for marginalized folks in Hollywood. Now people will say that POC/LGBT/disabled actors got the role to fill a quota for an Oscar. Ridiculous pandering with no real change—how perfectly typical. https://t.co/4wHjxxZlbm— Rachel (@jerrytysons) September 9, 2020
in order or this change to be genuinely meaningful i think that the oscar voters would have to not be mostly white (which they are) because i fear that this is just going to result in a bunch of faux representation with no depth while minority filmmakers continue to be ignored— ༺ aliyah ༻ (@exactliyah) September 9, 2020
The Academy’s new inclusion rules come as progressive activists both in and outside Hollywood seek to excise all potentially ‘offensive’ material from television and cinema, even prompting HBO to remove the 1939 classic ‘Gone with the Wind’ from its streaming service, as the 81-year-old film – shockingly – failed to meet 2020’s standards for racial justice.Also on rt.com Netflix pulls TWO MORE shows to appease ‘racial justice’ warriors & Black Lives Matter
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