Recent Oscars Best Picture decision brings mixed responses

After years of complaints of the Academy Awards not showcasing the best of people of color in film, the Academy is hoping to rectify this by implementing criteria to qualify for the nomination of Best Picture, which has received both criticism and praise.

According to the tweet from The Academy on Sept. 8, a film must meet two of the four new standards to qualify for Best Picture consideration starting in 2024. As stated in the tweet, these standards include A. On-Screen Representation, Themes and Narratives, B. Creative Leadership and Project Team, C. Industry Access and Opportunities and D. Audience Development. On The Academy website, they go more into detail on each of these standards.

In each standard, they require the inclusion of underrepresented groups ranging from women, racial or ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ members and people with disabilities. Standards A, B and D require these groups to have inclusion on-screen or off-screen. Some of these standards only require one person at the least and six at the most. Standard C requires that members from these groups are given apprenticeship, internship and training opportunities.

With the announcement of this news, many were dismissive of the new initiative. Most of these criticisms claim that the initiative is more focused on tokenism and forced diversity.

One of the biggest critics of the move was “Cheers” and “Look Who’s Talking” actress Kirstie Alley. In a now-deleted post, Alley said, “This is a disgrace to artists everywhere … You people have lost your minds.” Alley would take to Twitter once again after deleting her original tweet.

On the other side, people are excited for the move and find that is a welcome change or something that the industry is already heading toward.

Either way, these standards will take almost five years to come into effect. The Academy is trying show that they are willing to try and rectify complaints of not acknowledging these underrepresented groups. How this will turn out in practice is to be seen.

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