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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Blind Wedjat's Avatar
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    I don't care about some population statistic. I care about the fact that many movies and many performances by ethnic minorities have been put in the wrong categories or outright ignored because they were made by studios that can heavily campaign, or made by the same directors and producers that get the same nominations over and over.

  2. #32
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Wedjat View Post
    Yes, as suggested, please read the article in its entirety. OP failed to mention that for a film to be eligible it needs to meet two out of the four standards and there are mentions of also mentions of LGBTQ+ people and also those living with physical disabilities on and off screen.

    Personally I don't think it's that big of a deal, although there are bound to be some problems.

    My issue is still the number of nominations. It makes no sense if there are eight Best Picture nominations but only five Best Director nominations, or only five Best Actor/Actress/Supporting Actor/Supporting Actress nominations. There's no reason why Little Women received multiple nominations including Best Picture but Greta Gerwig wasn't nominated for Best Director.
    As the OP, that is not true.

    Pretty early on in my most, I made it clear that a film must be meet two of four standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new requirements for Best Picture nominees, to help promote greater diversity in the movie industry.

    In order for a film to be eligible, it must meet at least two of four standards.



    It seems to be well-intended, and something that most studios could meet pretty easily. If the film has a subject matter that would emphasize white men (like Dunkirk, Ford V. Ferrari, The Irishman, Hell or High Water or 1917) and the crew happens to be majority white male, the studios can get around that with representation in marketing and affirmative action in internships.

    I do ultimately thinks this is a bad idea. These requirements have nothing to do with the quality of the film, which is the one thing that is supposed to be judged. The films with a difficult time passing would be some of those with the lowest budgets. In the event that a decent film doesn't meet these standards, it allows for an argument that it wasn't allowed to compete.

    What do you think?
    I quoted the standards, including the references to standards involving LGBTQ+ characters, cast and crew and storylines or themes and crew with cognitive or physical disabilities.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  3. #33
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Mark Harris, a top film critic, has some thoughts on this, noting some potential complications.

    My first three reactions to this are:
    1. This is an immense change in what the Academy sees as its mission.
    2. Unlike other recent AMPAS decisions, this doesn't look hasty.
    3. It's good they have 2 yrs to work out the kinks, because...there are issues.

    One issue is that as written, it will be easier for studio movies to meet these standards than for indies. Some paid internships plus a diverse marketing dept., and a studio movie is covered. Indies may have to meet a higher standard that involves casting/content.

    There are also legal issues with asking about someone's sexual orientation/identity or disability status in the hiring process. And the moment when AMPAS will be forced to say whether Jews count or not could be ugly enough to blow this all up.

    The net result could be that these standards, by 2024, are relaxed JUST enough so that, guess what, basically every movie can meet them. And all that leaves out the question of how the industry will react to AMPAS essentially deciding that it is now a kind of regulatory agency.

    All that said, I think it will be hard to argue that these standards are excessively rigorous or steep, especially with rules that state that a movie only has to meet parts of 2 out of 4 standards to qualify. I will be curious to see how this unfolds.
    There are some potential monopoly questions with one institution setting these kinds of standards, and it does allow others to insist on their policy preferences. Anyone who wants to see more religious Christians and political conservatives represented in the media can point to this as an example of what happens when Hollywood wants to make changes. Environmentalists can make a similar push, as can anyone opposed to human rights abuses in, say, China. There can also be an insistence on labor and pay standards for anything eligible for Best Picture. When there are more restrictions there are that raise the cost of making films in Hollywood, the studios benefit, especially since they've got the clout to push back against anything that would endanger the bottom line.

    Harris raises a good point on the messiness of determining what counts as an example of a disability, someone being a member of an underrepresented group, or someone being LGBTQ+.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Blind Wedjat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    As the OP, that is not true.

    Pretty early on in my most, I made it clear that a film must be meet two of four standards.



    I quoted the standards, including the references to standards involving LGBTQ+ characters, cast and crew and storylines or themes and crew with cognitive or physical disabilities.
    My apologies. I think I skimmed over it and didn't read those details.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There are some potential monopoly questions with one institution setting these kinds of standards, .
    So you post bring up some interesting points but I will just talk about one. Oscars aren't monopoly they are other awards shows,the Academy Awards is just the one over time that has become one with the most prestige and thus can apply some pressure. Hollywood makes about 600 movies a year and only 8 movies are in the running for best picture. How much pressure is really being pushed realistic 10 or 12 movies are year in the running, most big budget and genre movies aren't really in the running. The more I think about it and I talk about see all the angles this less impressive this move becomes to me.

    If this was applied to all categories this would be a big deal ,now looking at it just looks like Oscar bait movies now have couple other check marks cross off and some smaller good film one of these year will miss out because it failed to do two of things. But all the attention it will get by being the film to miss because of rules will give it just as much attention. This is much less of big deal more I think about it, I think it pretty easy to do bare minimum and kinda invalidate the point of these rules. Plus the sample size of movies it effects is way smaller in reality.

  6. #36
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Justice doesn't come from checklists and quotas. Those only create the illusion of justice, so people can assuage their feelings of guilt without having to actually do anything.

    Justice comes from changing attitudes, and things like this change them in the wrong direction. This will be as effective a punchline/meme for the right as the Sinking Boat Rally is for the left.
    Make America Good Again.

  7. #37
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    The Oscars are already vilified by the right.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    By the right... but I'm far, far from a right-winger and that checklist looks patently ridiculous to me, too. My tax return form is shorter than that.

    The image it creates is stereotypical wokey-dokey lefties sitting up at night, brows furrowed, having meetings and desperately trying to get social justice to add up from a pocket calculator.
    Make America Good Again.

  9. #39
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Inherently, I think Best Picture should be based on which movie people feel is the best picture. If a movie is good enough I think it should deserve consideration even if it doesn't meet the Oscars requirements.

    But at the same time the Oscars can use whatever critieria the Oscars want to use.... it's their award. It's not like they are forcing movie studios to do anything... they're just saying IF they want to be nominated for their meaningless award, do this. And that's fair. Again, it's their award.

  10. #40
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Vox has a write-up that answers questions about some recent films.

    Does this mean a movie like The Irishman wouldn’t be eligible for Best Picture in future years?
    The Irishman fits the bill just fine.

    Yes, it’s a movie directed by a white man, mostly starring white men. But many of Scorsese’s longtime collaborators are (mostly white) women, including producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff; casting director Ellen Lewis; and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has been working with Scorsese from the very beginning. The film’s cinematographer, Rodrigo Preto, is from Mexico. Those staffing decisions fulfill the requirements of Category B. The film was funded and distributed by Netflix, a company that includes many women and many people of color among its executive team, including in key communications and publicity positions, and promotes internal development programs focused on diversity and inclusion — all factors in fulfilling Categories C and D. And that doesn’t take into account any LGBTQ+ people or people with disabilities — factors that aren’t obvious if you’re just perusing IMDb, or may not be publicly known — who might be involved.

    What about Little Women?
    Little Women, being about, well, women, easily meets the criteria for Category A, even though its main cast is entirely white. It’s also directed by a woman, produced by a team of women, and largely employed women as department heads. And though you certainly can’t tell if a person fits into one of the broader Academy-designated underrepresented groups purely on name and picture, a quick scan of the IMDb page makes it pretty clear that at least 30 percent of the crew fits the requirements of Category B. (That doesn’t even take into account Categories C and D at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the film’s distributor, which recently launched a diversity and inclusion initiative, nor the categories of LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.)

    What about Green Book?

    The 2019 Best Picture winner took a lot of (in my view, deserved) flak for its regressive and whitewashed view of race in America. But it also easily passes the test. Mahershala Ali won his second Oscar for his role in the film, which certainly qualifies as a “significant supporting actor” (and thereby fulfills Category A). Among its executive producers are Octavia Spencer and Kwame L. Parker (which fulfills Category B). It was distributed by Universal Pictures, which is led by chairwoman Donna Langley; Universal’s head of distribution is Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, and its head of global communications is Cindy Gardner (Category D). And Universal has an established global talent development and inclusion program (Category C).

    These three examples are all films from big studios with money to throw around, of course. But a film like, say, Moonlight — the lowest-budget film to ever win a Best Picture Oscar, at $1.5 million — would have qualified easily, given that most of its cast are Black, its director Barry Jenkins is Black, Jenkins’ co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney is Black (and gay), a number of heads of key departments are Black, and the movie’s main storyline focuses on a Black, gay character.
    The point about Moonlight is a bit misleading, as the subject matter meant it was more likely that a film would pass. There are plenty of low budget films about different communities, including individuals who aren't represented a whole lot in the mainstream media.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 09-09-2020 at 06:56 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  11. #41
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Vox has a write-up that answers questions about some recent films.



    The point about Moonlight is a bit misleading, as the subject matter meant it was more likely that a film would pass. There are plenty of low budget films about different communities, including individuals who aren't represented a whole lot in the mainstream media.
    Honestly, I wonder if it would be hard pressed to come up with a movie that WOULDN"T qualify.

  12. #42
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    Let's also be real, looking back to most people "Best Picture" isn't really the "Best Picture" anyway. The Academy always has obtuse weird criteria, that most of the viewing audience doesn't relate to anyway. At least this one would be spelled out.
    We don't need to codify an imperfect situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    Companies should step up on their own try to be diverse with out someone putting a gun to their head. But people are over looking without a gun to their head the changes are happening very slow if at all. This reminds me of the Rooney rule in football only two Black Coaches have won a superbowl, and one of them directly because the Rooney rule gave him at shot at the interview. The small point is the rule didn't lead to hiring equaling out, The owners figure out away around by by token interviews with people from their staff and they hire who they want to hire. Even with a rule encourage diversity in hiring they are only 3 black coaches and 1 Hispanic coach out of 32 teams in league made up 70% black people. The big point with out a gun to their heads they have no encouragement to change and even with the encourage they give the least effort towards change.

    The real question to be ask is "Why do they have to put rule like that in place, Why isn't casting and behind the scenes more diverse already?" . I am curious why people think the same Hollywood that cast Gods of Egypt or Avatar with white leads or even as recently as new mutants the director went "I know character is afro latino I am just going to cast him how I want anyway", is place that is going to just magically change without being forced. The end result of the hiring Mike Tomlin is worth the flawed process, The fact the more minorities in hollywood will get a chance is worth the flawed process.
    When it comes to nominations, it can take a long time for things to pay dividends, and it might not even be in a particular industry. Five of the last seven Academy Awards for Best Director were won by three men who worked together in the Mexican TV industry in the 90s, so fixes to the American film industry aren't the entirety of the pipeline, since American films have so much international talent, and draw from other industries (theater, television, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    So you post bring up some interesting points but I will just talk about one. Oscars aren't monopoly they are other awards shows,the Academy Awards is just the one over time that has become one with the most prestige and thus can apply some pressure. Hollywood makes about 600 movies a year and only 8 movies are in the running for best picture. How much pressure is really being pushed realistic 10 or 12 movies are year in the running, most big budget and genre movies aren't really in the running. The more I think about it and I talk about see all the angles this less impressive this move becomes to me.

    If this was applied to all categories this would be a big deal ,now looking at it just looks like Oscar bait movies now have couple other check marks cross off and some smaller good film one of these year will miss out because it failed to do two of things. But all the attention it will get by being the film to miss because of rules will give it just as much attention. This is much less of big deal more I think about it, I think it pretty easy to do bare minimum and kinda invalidate the point of these rules. Plus the sample size of movies it effects is way smaller in reality.
    Around 8 films are nominated each year, although many more are made in the hopes of a potential nomination.

    The one good film that doesn't meet the standard will probably become a political lighting rod, in a way that will be deeply unpleasant to the people involved. Progressive theater actors probably don't want to be defended by divisive figures (especially in Hollywood) like Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro. But another outcome is that some smaller films will not get made if the lack of a budget for internships/ publicity means it'll fail to meet diversity quotas, which will guarantee bad publicity and potentially taint everyone involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    By the right... but I'm far, far from a right-winger and that checklist looks patently ridiculous to me, too. My tax return form is shorter than that.

    The image it creates is stereotypical wokey-dokey lefties sitting up at night, brows furrowed, having meetings and desperately trying to get social justice to add up from a pocket calculator.
    The checklist is complicated to allow any major studio to meet the standards with ease. That seems intentional.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  13. #43
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    It seems every initiative designed to help minorities that has been enacted over the last 55 years has led to lots of dissatisfaction from all sides. This will likely be no different.

    Of the four Standards, only Standard A involves on-camera talent. That means a Viking history movie or a Founding Fathers movie will have a white cast, but Standards B, C, and D are there to give opportunities for minorities behind the camera.

    Sounds like it could work, but I have a feeling that an all-white cast movie would be frowned upon even if it's historically accurate. I don't think the defense, "Wait! Wait! We have lots of minorities behind the scenes!!! We're good!!!" will fly.

    I don't think an all-white cast movie has a chance of getting a Best Picture nod now, and that likely means that Oscar-bait movies like, say, Shakespeare in Love, wouldn't get made today.

    Notice how criteria A1 does NOT include gay actors (A1. Lead or significant supporting actors: At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.). The Academy wants to SEE that diversity, so, sorry gay actors, you don't count there.

    If a very diverse cast film wins Best Picture, a lot of people will say it only won because of its diversity. If a non-diverse cast film should win, then minorities will be upset because they'll think nothing's really changed in Hollywood. Again, all sides will end up dissatisfied over this.

    Count filmmakers and cinephiles among the to-be dissatisfied. Box checking and creativity don't go hand-in-hand. A lot of writers won't bother to tell their personal stories because it may involve an all-white cast.

    This ruling is a divider, not a uniter -- as all top-down edicts tend to be.
    Plenty of all-white movies have been nominated for Best Picture. Recent mostly white winners include The King's Speech (2010), The Artist (2011), Argo (2012), Birdman (2014) and Spotlight (2015.) The last four years have generally featured films with more diversity (Moonlight, The Shape of Water, Green Book, Parasite) although I doubt this will continue unbroken for several years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Wedjat View Post
    It's even just black people. Absolutely none of the actors from Parasite got a nomination for acting and The Farewell got nothing at the Oscars despite receiving many other accolades and Awkwafina herself winning a Golden Globe.

    Hell, maybe this will force Hollywood to start telling new stories too. I liked movies like The Favourite and Little Women well enough but I'm sure we don't need yet another period piece that focuses squarely on white people.
    The points about Little Women and The Favourite get a little messy, since there aren't necessarily that many period pieces about the internal lives of multiple women. Hell, those stories would count as meeting the diversity standards due to the emphasis on women.

    It can also be a problem to suggest that something that was quite acclaimed should not exist. We can have it at the same time the industry is making Roma, Widows, and If Beale Street Can Talk.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Wedjat View Post
    Tell me how many black women since Halle Berry have been nominated for Best Actress? Go ahead, answer that.

    Tell me how many black actresses before Halle Berry were nominated for Best Actress? Look that up to. You can literally count the exact number on two hands.

    How many black actors have actually won Oscars? How many have been nominated? Go compare that to the number of Oscar ceremonies we've had and the same crop of white actors and directors and crew members that have been nominated over and over and over again.
    This isn't necessarily going to fix that. The white director with multiple nominations teaming up with white actors with multiple nominations are going to be able to afford the bare minimum for compliance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midvillian1322 View Post
    ima probaly regret engaging but what specifically do you have a problem with? Despite what people are arguing about on the previous page it doesn't stop movies with all white male casts from being eligible. It just requires that the studio has a diverse group of people working behind the scenes. Being as White women are included in this that shouldn't be hard at all. The only way I can see people taking issue are the people who think institutional racism isn't real and hate affirmative action. It literally doesn't have to effect the art side of the films at all.
    If it doesn't affect the art side, how can we declare that something that doesn't meet these standards is ineligible for Best Picture? But there may also be potential effects on quality if less talented or experienced individuals are given key jobs, or the narrative is shaped in a particular way, in order to meet the quotas.


    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    Let's also be real, looking back to most people "Best Picture" isn't really the "Best Picture" anyway. The Academy always has obtuse weird criteria, that most of the viewing audience doesn't relate to anyway. At least this one would be spelled out.
    The Oscars have biases, against animated films, foreign language films, genre films, etc. But it's different to set explicit standards about what qualifies for the industry's most prestigious awards, especially if these standards can be politically controversial.

    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    Hard to say. Looking at past nominees, a lot of the lower budget films are the ones who should pass it easily.

    I think some of the mid-budget films that take place in historical time period where your main cast is all caucasian, that might be a little bit problematic.

    That said, this *shouldn't* be an issue for most films. If you just take a random sampling of people of the United States, to work on a movie, 99% of movies shouldn't have any problems. Almost every movie should be able to "check the box" on B1 for example. That's really loose!

    In theory, it shouldn't need to be done. But I honestly don't know the diversity make up of Hollywood films. I remember being outraged at Matt Damon during his comments on Project Greenlight a few years back...
    Most films already meet the standards. A studio making a prestige picture in a setting where you would expect most of the characters to be white males (European prisoner of war camp, upper echelon of a bigoted industry, three Irish-American brothers on a road trip, police officers in Wyoming, etc.) would be able to afford the internship programs, and marketing consultants to meet standards 3 and 4.

    The main people who might be in trouble are the cast and crew of certain independent films that do not have the budgets to comply with additional regulations. And when the precedent is set to have this requirement, why not require clear environmental standards? Why not dictate labor practices? Why shouldn't conservatives and Christians say that the AMSPA's clear lack of action shows they don't care about Middle America?

    And I'm sure there are going to be further pushes for diversity when fifty percent of cinematographer, director and sound editing nominations don't go to women.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 09-09-2020 at 07:40 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  14. #44
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Mixed feelings. The idea is good and means well. But the movie that wins should be the one that was the best movie of the year- period. This will just further increase the accusation that movies win for reasons that have nothing to do with being the best movie.
    My thoughts exactly.

    Also, what about a period piece set in a certain geographical area would such a movie be ineligible despite how compelling its story is? Up until a few hundred years ago, most regions were not very heterogeneous (ethnically diverse).
    Last edited by Celgress; 09-09-2020 at 07:43 PM.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  15. #45
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    My thoughts exactly.

    Also, what about a period piece set in a certain geographical area would such a movie be ineligible despite how compelling its story is? Up until a few hundred years ago, most regions were not very heterogeneous (ethnically diverse).
    Though I disagree in principal that a movie should be disqualified from consideration for BEST PICTURE by these sort of quotes, in practice I suspect these rules will mean nothing.

    Most film studios will likely be able to qualify even with some sort of all whiteperiod piece, if you're counting people in production, marketing, financing, etc.

    The only scenario where this MIGHT make any sort of difference is if we're talking about some sort of small budget oscar baiting indy period piece. Movies that people largely won't know or care about anyways. For the bulk of us, we won't even notice the differences as any larger film company I'm sure can coast through these ristrictions with litte to no adjustments whatsoever. I think it'll actually be hard to find movies that wouldn't qualify.

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