ESC

Racism Solved: Oscars Will Require Best Picture Nominees to Employee At Least Three Women or People of Color

Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new inclusivity guidelines that films will have to meet if they want to be considered for Best Picture on Tuesday night and boy do they amount to nothing.

There’s a lot to unpack on what exactly a film has to do to meet two of the four inclusivity guidelines, so let me kind of break it down.

STANDARD A:  ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES

To meet standard A, a film must have one non-white actor in a leading or “major” supporting role OR 30% of the ensemble must be women, people of color, LGBT or disabled OR the film’s main plot must be centered on women, people of color, LGBT people or disabled people.

So you have Scarlett Johansson playing a trans woman in a biopic? Boom, you meet the guidelines. I think every single Marvel movie has met these guidelines just by including Zoe Saldana, Sam Jackson, Don Cheadle or that fat kid from the Spider-Man movies. I actually think Birth of a Nation and all those Nazi propagandist films by Leni Riefenstahl qualify under the last criteria, they are certainly about “underrepresented groups.”

STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM

I barely feel the need to explain this one because basically every Hollywood film ever made qualifies for it already.

The criteria are that two of the following must be a woman, a person of color, LGBT person or disabled person and one must be a person of color: Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer OR six people in other technical positions must be people of color OR 30% of the crew, in general, must be women, people of color, LGBT or disabled.

Other than Director most of those roles in films are already filled by women and people of color. Quick, name a white male Costume Designer who isn’t Mark Bridges.

The other two qualifications are just having internships for underrepresented groups or having a marketing executive in the company from one of those groups.

These changes don’t take effect until 2024.

You’re going to hear a lot about this for a few days, with one side saying it’s an important step for minority representation and the other side saying it’s affirmative action; it’s not actually either. I don’t think a single film nominated for Best Picture in the past decade would fail to meet even the first two categories and any that did would for sure meet the second two, so this probably won’t create any additional opportunities for underrepresented people. It’s just typical corporate “look how inclusive we are while we’re actually not doing anything at all” nonsense.

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