Oscars set New standards for best-picture category to encourage diversity

The Motion Picture Academy has established new standards for its best-picture nominees. Voters can no longer nominate films for that category that they have screened at a venue that is open only to members of the Academy or that are produced by a member of their own branch.

The Academy is aiming to make a greater effort to address the diversity deficit in its members. The new standards were announced in response to its failure to nominate a single person of color for the best-picture Oscar in the three years since the Academy Awards show was hosted by comedian Chris Rock.

The Academy plans to tighten its voting requirements for the best-picture category and have only a quarter of voters cast ballots in the category by the 2019 Oscars. Current members will be invited to vote in the category. Academy members who are no longer active in the industry but who have made at least three best-picture nominations over the past 75 years will be invited to vote, the Academy said.

The Academy’s “Hollywood diversity initiative,” directed by Academy president John Bailey, came days after RISE of Color released a report finding the Academy has less than 3% of its membership of 6,687 individuals are African American.

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