The Academy Awards Introduce New Diversity Standards for Best Picture Contenders

Cast and crew of Best Picture "Parasite" on stage at the Oscars 2020. Photo by Rob Latour/Shutterstock (10548150na)

After years of relying on the movie industry to tell diverse and inclusive stories, the Academy is taking things into its own hands. The academy introduced four new representation and inclusivity standards for potential Oscar contenders in the best picture category, going into effect in 2024.

The Academy set four sets of standards, covering on-screen and off-screen representation, and movies have to pass at least two to be eligible for the best picture. The standards address diversity in relation to gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and disability, giving minority groups a chance to be represented in the Oscar-winning movies.

According to the Academy’s press release, the main goal of the newly-introduced Academy Aperture 2025 initiative is to encourage representation in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.

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