The Oscars will add a diversity requirement for eligibility
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The Oscars will add a diversity requirement for eligibility
In this file photo taken on February 08, 2020 an Oscars statue is displayed on the red carpet area on the eve of the 92nd Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Hollywood's motion picture academy will introduce new eligibility rules to boost diversity among Oscars nominees under a raft of new measures announced June 12, 2020. The move comes after years of criticism over a lack of diversity among the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' members, and among the Oscar nominees and winners they select. Mark RALSTON / AFP.

by Nicole Sperling

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which oversees the Academy Awards, announced Friday a handful of efforts to improve inclusion both within its organization and for the Oscars themselves.

For the annual telecast, which next year may be in flux because of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the academy will create a task force to develop new inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility by the end of July. The academy has not yet determined what those standards will be, and films submitted this year will not be affected. The organization also announced that the best picture category will be set at 10 films rather than the fluctuating number of nominations that has been in effect since the 2010 Oscars.

Internally, the organization’s Board of Governors amended its bylaws to limit the number of terms each governor may serve on the board to a maximum of 12. Previously, there was no limit.

“The need to address this issue is urgent,” the academy’s chief executive, Dawn Hudson, said. “To that end, we will amend — and continue to examine — our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.”

These efforts, which are part of the initiative titled “Academy Aperture 2025,” will also include a series of panels titled “Academy Dialogue: It Starts with Us” for members and the public on race, ethnicity and history.

The inclusion effort will expand to the academy’s Los Angeles museum and its collections and programs. The museum, a $388 million project that has been hampered by cost overruns and fundraising challenges, is set to open in December, though that too may be delayed.

The academy’s membership came under intense scrutiny in 2016, the second year in a row that the organization did not nominate any actors of color for Oscars and overlooked films that focused on black characters for best-picture nominations. Academy leaders vowed to double the number of people of color and women members by 2020.

In 2015, 8% were people of color, and 25% were women. As of last year, people of color made up 16% of the membership, according to the academy, and women made up 32%.

On Wednesday, the academy announced its new board of governors, increasing the number of female Academy governors to 26 out of 54, and people of color to 12.

© 2020 The New York Times Company

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