Diversity will soon be a requirement for a film's eligibility at the Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is creating a task force "to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020," it said in a statement. The standards will impact the 94th Academy Awards, the 2022 ceremony honoring the films of the previous year.
These changes are part of the Academy's "A2020" initiative created in 2016 in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, the outcry over the lack of diversity in Hollywood's most prestigious awards show. Then, the Academy had committed to double its number of diverse voting members by 2020.
The board of governors greenlit the new standards Thursday in a Zoom meeting, which had been previously postponed due to the protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"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," said Dawn Hudson, the Academy's CEO. "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."
"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," added David Rubin, the Academy's president. "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. "
In addition to the inclusion standards, the Academy also announced more measures to ensure more diversity at the Oscars. It will expand its number of Best Pictures nominees to 10. Previously, the number varied depending upon the number of votes a production received. A new "quarterly viewing process" will also ensure that Academy members will have access to watch contenders year-round through a digital screening room.
Additionally, governors will no longer be able to serve an unlimited number of terms. The cap is now 12 years, with a required two-year hiatus after two three-year terms. All governors will be required to undergo unconscious bias training, which members will have the opportunity to participate in as well.
The Academy also announced it will establish an Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity, which will "ensure the implementation of best practices and accountability throughout the organization."