New diversity rules to qualify for the Academy Awards — will they make Oscars not so white?

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File photo dated March 4, 2018 of Chadwick Boseman arriving for the 90th annual Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, USA. US actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing Black Panther in the hit Marvel superhero franchise, has died of cancer aged 43. Photo by Lionel Hahn/ABACAPRESS.COM.

After years of “Oscars so white,” changes are coming to the Academy Awards. Films must have more diversity in front of or behind the camera to qualify for Best Picture — beginning in 2024. 

There are four categories for inclusion, and a Best Picture contender would need to fulfill two: 
- on-screen representation, themes and narratives
- creative leadership and project team
- industry access and opportunities
- audience development (marketing and distribution)

“If you look at the wide parameters of these four standards, really it’s just designed to kind of prod studios to include more people. And a big part of that is the internship/apprenticeship program,” says Glenn Whipp, LA Times columnist covering the Academy.

He says now people are paying closer attention to programs that are mainly there to make a studio look good. “I think people are paying closer attention to what real opportunities come out of them. … There are a lot of groups monitoring Hollywood these days. Studies come out every year. And the numbers are inching up every year. … Hopefully this kind of program will reach some benefits down the line.”