Oscars add diversity requirements for best picture contenders

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that oversees the Oscars, announced new standards Tuesday for the best picture category that aim to “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”

The “representation and inclusion” standards will take full effect in 2024, when movies will have to meet two of four guidelines to qualify for the category, the Academy said in a news release Tuesday.

The standards include on-screen representation, themes, narratives, industry access and other criteria.

To qualify for the “on-screen representation” standard, at least one lead or significant supporting actor will need to be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, the group said. The storyline will need to focus on underrepresented groups including people with physical disabilities or the LGBTQ community.

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

The announcement comes nearly five years after #OscarsSoWhite became a trending social media hashtag and response to two consecutive years in which no actors of color were nominated in top acting categories.

The effort announced Tuesday is part of an initiative called “Academy Aperture 2025,” which aims to “advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community.”

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.