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Oscars Nominees Will Soon Be Subject to New Diversity Standards

Waad al-Kateab, oscars 2020, academy awards

‘For Sama’ director Waad al-Kateab with her family at the 92nd Academy Awards. Photo: Getty

In a bid to diversify their annual nominee pool, Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the Oscars will now be subject to a new list of diversity measures namely oriented around race. Following years of criticism that have, in recent years, amalgamated into hashtags such as #OscarsSoWhite and movements around boycotting the event, the organization has announced that a new task force will be set up “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility.”

Taking to Instagram on Saturday, The Academy announced that the task force will represent the “next phase” of their equity and inclusion initiative. While the measures will not affect films in contention this year, the new rules will be largely focused around addressing the lack of non-white voices admitted into the organization, namely on account of the inequitable “hiring practices on and off-screen.”

As per their Instagram post, some of the standards will include “more representation and inclusion for the Oscars,” the guarantee of “10 films in the best picture category,” “more new voices” on their executive board and “greater streaming opportunities for members to see films.”

While the Academy has made concerted efforts to broaden it’s membership in the last decade; with the percentage of male and female members now equating fifty percent, only one-third of those admitted have been people of color. In a statement following the mass protests in the United States over the racially-motivated murder of George Floyd, the Academy’s President, David Rubin said “to truly meet this moment, we must recognize how much more needs to be done. “We must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable.”

While likely to change due to restrictions surrounding Covid-19, no amendments have been made to the timing of the Oscars ceremony, which at present is still scheduled to take place on February 28.

Read More: 4 Arab Films Officially Selected for The 2020 Cannes Film Festival

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