Motion Picture Academy combating #OscarsSoWhite criticism with series of inclusion initiatives

Posted on: June 12th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

AMPAS(LOS ANGELES) — After years of being criticized for a lack of diversity in both its membership and in the films that are nominated for Oscars — captured with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced a series of initiatives aimed at inclusion and diversity. 

In addition to behind-the-scenes strategies like unconscious bias training for its Board of Governors and term limits for those influential positions, the Academy announced that from now on, the number of Best Picture nominees will always be ten.  Previously, the number varied, up to ten.

The organization will also make it easier for voters to view films for consideration, to “broaden each film’s exposure, level the playing field,” a statement reads.

Also, “The Academy will encourage equitable hiring practices and representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the film community,” the announcement details, including creating a task force in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020.”

AMPAS will also host a series of panels called “Academy Dialogue: It Starts with Us” for members and the public, featuring with conversations about race, ethnicity, history, opportunity, and the art of filmmaking. Academy governor Whoopi Goldberg will take part in one about “the lasting impact of racist tropes and harmful stereotypes in Hollywood films.”

Of these and other initiatives, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “While [we’ve] made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board. 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.”

By Stephen Iervolino
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