Oscars: The Academy adds a diversity requirement for eligibility, new plans for more inclusion and expand Best Picture category

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Through the 'Academy Aperture 2025', The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that oversees the Academy Awards popularly known as Oscars announced a few measure to improve inclusion both within its organization as well as for the awards. The new plans are aimed towards increasing diversity in the film community as the awards are often targeted for being ‘so white’.

The Academy’s CEO, Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “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. 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.”

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For more diverse representation, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Academy are joining hands to create a task force that will comprise leaders of the industry and will have new inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility by the end of July. The academy has not yet determined what these standards will be and the films submitted this year will not be affected. However, the organization announced that the best picture category will have 10 films rather than the fluctuating number of nominations since 2010 Oscars.

Academy President David Rubin said, “Through the dedication, focus, and concerted effort of our Board of Governors and members on the branch executive committees, the Academy has surpassed the goals of our A2020 initiative. But to truly meet this moment, we must recognize how much more needs to be done, and we must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable. Academy leadership and our Board are committed to ensuring that we continue to weave equity and inclusion into the fabric of every Academy initiative, committee, program and event.”

The 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. On Wednesday, the academy announced its new board of governors. Director Ava DuVernay and 2020 Oscars producer Lynette Howell Taylor have been included raising the number of female Academy governors to 26 out of 54, and people of color to 12. Reportedly, the Academy is also considering postponing the annual Oscar Awards due to the Coronavirus crisis.

(Source: Twitter)

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