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This year's Oscars may be in the far, unimaginable future, but that doesn't mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences isn't making some major changes during one of the strangest years for movies in recent memory. In a year where the coronavirus pandemic effectively erased the summer slate of films and global unrest has led to increased awareness and participation in the pursuit of social justice, the Academy Awards will be altering their format and requirements in a timely fashion.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscars will once again have 10 nominees for Best Picture — as the awards did during their 82nd and 83rd ceremonies — rather than a fluctuating number based upon the year's most deserving films. The Academy will also be introducing new standards for Oscar eligibility in accordance with its goals stemming from the #OscarsSoWhite criticisms started by activist April Reign in January 2015.
These new nominee practices and inclusion standards — which will begin affecting films' eligibility at the 94th Academy Awards, focused on 2021's movies — have yet to be set in stone. A new task force that includes "governor and A2020 Committee chair DeVon Franklin," will "develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020." The Academy also imposed maximum term limits on its own board members, while making yearly unconscious bias training mandatory for its governors, branch executive committee members, and Academy staff.
"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. "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."
Other efforts from the Academy to address internal biases in the highest awards body in the film industry include "a conversation hosted by Academy governor Whoopi Goldberg on the lasting impact of racist tropes and harmful stereotypes in Hollywood films."