To start off this will not effect the upcoming Academy Awards Oscars, which already have their nominees in place but will certainly effect them going forward. They are looking to create higher standards for their nominees and will be creating a few new rules that films need to follow. They are creating a task force to make these new standards for Oscar eligibility by the end of July 2020.
Another thing that has changed going forward is the length of time a board member may sit on. Previously there was no limit and now there is a time limit of 12 years.
As of now they have not said what we can expect but there are already ideas going around of what would be good to see.
The British Film Academy is one place that they can look to for some ideas. As of 2019 they have required representation in at least two of four different diversity standards. Those standards being “onscreen representation, themes and narratives”, “Industry access and opportunities”, “creative leadership” and “distribution and exhibition strategies”. They have an entire list of under-represented areas that they look to see more of.
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
You can see the entire list of the British requirements here. This would be a great jumping off point for the Oscars to consider. And already has a basic outline of what should be looked for at the ready.
“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.”Academy’s chief executive, Dawn Hudson via New York Times
It should also be noted that they are delaying the 2021 Oscars again by two months. So instead of watching it February 28th, it will more likely be April 25, 2021. But with coronavirus putting a pin in so many events and no clear end in sight it could be pushed back much further or they may have to adapt another method of presenting awards.