What do the new Oscars DEI rules mean for the film industry? Explore the impact of these diversity and inclusion standards on the 96th Academy Awards ceremony.
Screenshot: Oscars

The new Oscars DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) rules, set to take effect in 2024, aim to increase the representation of certain racial, ethnic, or identity groups in the film industry.

The standards were developed and revealed by the Academy back in 2020, when they were focused on the “Best Picture” category and were a direct response to public criticism of a lack of diversity. Anybody remember that “OscarsSoWhite” hashtag?

The new DEI rules will be implemented for the first time with the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, which will take place on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

RELATED: Sunday’s Oscars Will Be The First To Include Diversity And Inclusion Requirements

Oscars Diversity Rules Enough To Make Some Stars Vomit

What does it say about the news diversity rules at the Oscars that even some Hollywood members are pushing back? Legendary actor Richard Dreyfuss said the DEI efforts “make me vomit.”

“This is so patronizing. It’s so thoughtless and treating people like children,” he said.

One director who wished to remain anonymous told the New York Post that the DEI standards are “completely ridiculous.”

“I’m for diversity, but to make you cast certain types of people if you want to get nominated? That makes the whole process contrived,” the director said. “The person who is right for the part should get the part. Why should you be limited in your choices? But it’s the world we’re in. This is crazy.”

RELATED: Jane Fonda, Liberal Stars Use Oscars To Demand Nuclear Disarmament

Loopholes Completely Blow Up The Diversity Rules

But it goes even beyond the fact that these rules are patronizing. As former company town reporter for the Los Angeles Times David Ng writes, the rules are ineffective.

His latest Breitbart column explains the diversity rules as being broken down into 4 categories:

(A) On-screen diversity (i.e., cast and story); (B) Behind-the-camera diversity (i,e., crew); (C) Industry access (i.e., studio provides internships and training for women and minorities); and (D) Audience development (i.e., women and minorities in executive roles in studio marketing, PR, and distribution).

– Dvaid Ng, Breitbart

The problem though, lies with the Academy’s rule that “a film must meet TWO out of FOUR of the … standards to be deemed eligible.”

“That means a movie can skip A and B if it fulfills C and D,” Ng explains. “If a studio employs an army of minority interns and some of its marketing executives are also minorities, then any movie the studio puts out is automatically ‘diverse’ under Academy rules.”

“In another loophole, the Academy considers women of any color to be a minority. As a result, a movie can fulfill A,B, C, and D using white women and still qualify as ‘diverse,'” he adds. “The same loophole applies for LGBTQ+ people.”

“In fact, no behind-the-camera diversity is required either. A movie’s entire cast and crew can be all white, heterosexual men and it could still qualify as ‘diverse,'” Ng continues.

The writer surmises that the film Oppenheimer is a glaring example of a film being able to take advantage of the DEI loopholes written into the Acadamy’s rules, making it eligible for a Best Picture award despite being an almost exclusively white, male cast.

Will the amusing happen and the almost all-white all-male cast of Oppenheimer take home the Best Picture award this Sunday, the very first year in which the Oscars implement the new DEI rules? Only time will tell.

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