Starting in 2024, movies must adhere to quotas pertaining to racial diversity in order to prove eligible for the Best Picture Oscar. This is nothing short of ridiculous. As an example, consider a film set in a Nordic country such as Finland where there are few racial minorities. If such a film did not meet the new criteria for racial diversity, it would not be considered for an Oscar. Thankfully, the new rule will not be implemented for another four years so there is still time to reverse it.
About the Quotas
The quotas for racial diversity set standards that each film must meet in order to receive consideration for the Best Picture Oscar. Two of the four categories must be adhered to in order for eligibility for the coveted award. These categories are as follows: Audience Development, Industry Access and Opportunities, Creative leadership and Project Team and Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives. This is concerning as recent Best Picture Oscar nominees such as the Irishman and 1917 would not have met the new racial diversity standards.
The quota criteria states a minimum of one lead actor or significant supporting actor be from an ethnic group or racial group that is underrepresented. Furthermore, 30% of the actors in secondary and comparably minor roles must be from specific underrepresented groups. Alternatively, the primary storyline, narrative or theme must highlight an underrepresented group.
Industry Access and Opportunities
This standard mandates the major studios and distributors have significant ongoing paid apprenticeships or internships that include underrepresented racial groups.
This benchmark mandates the studio has several in-house senior executives. These executives must be from specific underrepresented racial groups.
Creative Leadership and Project Team
This standard requires that a minimum of two creative leadership positions along with the heads of department are filled by individuals in underrepresented racial groups. Furthermore at least half a dozen additional crew positions are to be filled by individuals who belong to underrepresented racial groups. Examples of such positions include script supervisor, gaffer and AD.
The standards for racial inclusion as detailed above are not applicable to other Oscar categories. Furthermore, the standards will not be implemented until 2024. Filmmakers must submit inclusion standards in 2022 and 2023 yet will not be forced to meet the standards until ’24. The purpose of these new standards is to boost the representation of racial minorities with the hope of better reflecting the racial makeup of the viewing audience.
In reality, these racial quotas are nothing but a push for political correctness that will reduce the quality of entertainment on the silver screen. It will be interesting to see if casting directors and studio heads throughout Hollywood adhere to the quotas defined above or if they simply bypass them, squaring their focus on making the best movies possible regardless of whether racial diversity standards are met.