New Oscars eligibility requirements announced to boost Hollywood diversity

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday its latest step in the efforts to boost Hollywood diversity by setting new requirements for Oscars eligibility.

The academy said in a statement that the next phase of its equity and inclusion initiative, Academy Aperture 2025, will further its ongoing efforts to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community.

The first phase of the initiative outlines specific goals for the Oscars and academy governance, membership, and workplace culture.

To ensure more diverse representation, and in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America, the academy will create a task force of industry leaders to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by the end of July. Beginning with the 94th Academy Awards next year, the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number of nominations from year to year, according to the academy.

Eligibility for films in consideration for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards will not be impacted by the new requirements.

The academy also announced that it will be mandatory for all academy governors, branch executive committee members and academy staff to participate in unconscious bias training. All of the academy's more than 9,000 members will be offered an opportunity to participate in the training as well.

The academy said that it will establish an Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity to oversee the Aperture 2025 initiative and work with the board of governors, academy staff and experts to ensure the implementation of best practices and accountability throughout the organization.

"While the academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in the statement.

"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," she added.

"Through the dedication, focus, and concerted effort of our board of governors and members on the branch executive committees, the academy has surpassed the goals of our A2020 initiative. But to truly meet this moment, we must recognize how much more needs to be done, and we must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable," Academy President David Rubin said. 

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