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Weekly Now: An Oscars Nod to D&I

By / Sep 14, 2020 (vzphotos/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reveals new diversity requirements for the Oscars’ Best Picture category—and welcomes the discussion the changes have created. Also: The Boston Marathon makes remote running work.

The Oscars are making a stronger case for diversity, and doing so with the annual ceremony’s most iconic award: Best Picture.

In one of the most high-profile efforts to address the awards’ long-standing diversity issues, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced a series of new guidelines last week to ensure that nominees for the award follow consistent standards for diversity and inclusion, on screen and off.

To be considered for the award starting in 2024, nominees will have to meet requirements for diversity in at least two of four categories: in casting; creative leadership; hiring and training practices; and audience development. In the 2022 and 2023 award years, films will be asked to submit their diversity reports privately, but they won’t affect a film’s eligibility until 2024. At this time, other categories won’t need to comply with the new rules.

In recent years, the Academy Awards have faced controversy over diversity both in voting class and who gets nominated, something that has led to an increased focus on inclusion.

While the rules aren’t perfect and have generated plenty of criticism, this feedback and discussion is being welcomed by AMPAS, which sees it as an important starting point for the future.

“This was discussed with the industry specifically to get their input and to make sure people embraced them,” AMPAS Treasurer Jim Gianopulos, the chairman of Paramount Studios and a developer of the new rules, told Deadline. “And that meant all the studios, all the independent companies, all the guilds, all the players, all the stakeholders in the industry to have their input and to help them understand the intention which was to move from everybody’s best intentions to objectivity and progress.”

Other news highlights:

Rethinking the can. Pringles is one of the most popular brands of chips in the snack aisle, but it’s never been known as environmentally friendly—until now, perhaps, thanks to public criticism by the United Kingdom’s Recycling Association. According to Yahoo! Life, after the association noted that the famed tube is essentially impossible to recycle, the makers of the popular chips announced plans to test an alternative container made largely out of paper, with less reliance on a mix of materials that made it problematic for recyclers.

Running at your own pace. From September 6 to September 14, runners around the world were undertaking their own personal Boston Marathons, as the annual event went virtual for the first time. In comments to GBH News, Boston Athletic Association Race Director Dave McGillivray noted that this was an alternative that offered something positive to a community of active runners. “This is, you know, making lemonade out of lemons. This is turning [a] negative into a positive,” he told the outlet. “This is making adjustments, given the parameters and the limitations that we all are living with.”

Creating a Virtual Memorial Event

For obvious reasons, annual meetings get much of the focus when it comes to virtual events, but those aren’t the only events that associations put on.

Sometimes, it’s a memorial event—and given the current state of our culture, those have to live online as well, notes meeting designer and facilitator Adrian Segar. On his Conferences That Work blog, he noted how he had to develop a memorial event for Marlboro College, a school that he once taught at that recently closed. Many decisions had to go into creating such an event. As he noted, the online nature of it heavily informed the final result, leading to things such as the creation of a Slack-based backchannel for event organizers before and during the event.

“Most people have never attended an online memorial service before,” he said. “So it’s important to give them an idea of what to expect.”

As in-person events may not be happening anytime soon for many associations, even less-high-profile events may need a bit of consideration.

ICYMI …

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Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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