We’re not sure the Oscars meant a whole lot before, but if they ever held any meaning whatsoever, that era is surely now over. Under pressure from Twitter hashtags (?!), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that future Best Picture selections would have less to do with artistic merit and more to do with wokeness. According to the statement, all movies eligible for Best Picture as of 2024 will have to meet minimum “inclusion” requirements, as determined by a vague representation panel.
Our world is just getting so fun, isn’t it?
“Films must meet two of four standards which are on-screen representation, themes, and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development,” reported People magazine.
In a statement, Academy officials David Rubin and Dawn Hudson said the move is overdue: “The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
Let’s be really clear, shall we? If there was any hope at all that these initiatives would help audiences connect with these movies, they would have been implemented years and years ago. When there are things that will help you connect with the crowd (i.e., make more money), you don’t need top-down demands to make them happen. They happen automatically in accordance with the principles of the free market. Initiatives like this are only necessary when the fear is that by going overboard on “diversity” instead of, you know, making great movies, people are going to start looking elsewhere to spend their entertainment dollar.
The Los Angeles Times pointed out some of the silliness involved here:
Among the new standards, those concerning onscreen representation are likely to garner the most scrutiny. Indeed, some recent best picture nominees that featured almost exclusively white and male casts — including the World War I film “1917” and the gangster epic “The Irishman” — might have had difficulty meeting the new onscreen standards. Those standards require one of the following: at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from certain underrepresented groups; or the main storyline, theme or narrative is centered on an underrepresented group.
Oh well. Just throw some black people into your Shakespeare drama. Sprinkle in some transgender representation for your next big Biblical epic. Who cares if it’s historically ridiculous? The important thing is that everyone gets proper representation on the screen, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense at all.
We’ll probably be blind soon from rolling our eyes, anyway, so there’s no point in getting upset.