From being criticized for #OscarSoWhite, to the 2021 "Aperture 2025" being deemed out of place, to the 2022 "bald head" joke, the Oscars have worked hard to ensure that the shortlisted films are diverse, but why is it still controversial?
At the 94th Academy Awards, award presenter Chris Rock made a "bald-headed" joke at Jada Pinkett-Smith in the audience, causing her husband, Will Smith, to be dissatisfied and take the stage to protest against Chris Rock's slap. In fact, this isn't the first time Chris Rock has been at the Oscars, as the joke has sparked controversy.
In 2015, the Oscars were criticized for being "too white" (#OscarSoWhite) for being white. In response to the controversy, the 2016 Oscars specifically hired "African-American" Chris Locke as the host, but he joked about "Asians" in reverse.
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He hired three Asian children to play accountants, ridiculing the stereotype that Asian mathematics is good and ridiculing child labor. The move immediately drew protests from player Jeremy Lin, who hit back in a post: "When will this change?" I'm tired of Americans discriminating against Asians, but I think it's cool, OK mentality."
Ang Lee and other Asian members of the Academy also wrote to express their dissatisfaction, and the Academy subsequently apologized and added 3 members to the 51-member Board of Governors, appointing 6 ethnic minorities to the top position, promising that the organization would develop in a more diversified direction.
The Oscar Aperture Program defines that the best must include multiple, otherwise it will not be eligible for best picture
In a public report released in 2020, the Academy said that 45% of its new members were women, tripled the number of members of "underrepresented groups" (including people of color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, etc.) and expanded its global membership from 724 to 2,107.
In 2020, the Korean film "Parasitism" shined at the Oscars, winning awards such as Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. The Academy of Film Arts believes that this is the first time that a non-English film has won Best Picture, marking the success of the Five-Year Plan, which has successfully expanded the definition of "best" through the diversification of members of organizations.
In 2021, the Oscars launched a new five-year plan, Aperture 2025, which clearly defined: "A film cannot qualify for Best Picture if it is not 'diverse' in terms of actors, crew, or themes."
This means that this "best" must contain "diversity".
The Aperture 2025 Program requires a certain percentage of "women, minorities, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities" in terms of actor roles and story themes, management team and crew, training and internship opportunities, and subsequent marketing and distribution departments, and the crew needs to submit a complete list to ensure their diversity in order to qualify for Best Picture.
This provision will be officially launched in 2024, but when the Aperture 2025 project was announced, Glitz World, while acknowledging that this was a milestone, felt that these guidelines were out of date, and that most films had "reached the standard" and could not truly reflect the imbalance within the industry, or further promote the development of the film team to a more active and diverse composition.
"If the intention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts is to strengthen inclusion, they must raise the bar, not just maintain the status quo."
There is a precedent for rejecting the Oscar-based inappropriate joke script: Heath Ledger refuses to make "gay" jokes
The reform action of the Academy of Film Arts is all the rage, but why is it still controversial?
In particular, the speeches at the Oscars ceremony are all designed by "scripts", and there will also be teleprompters to remind guests what to say, if it is not for the guests to perform on the spot, it can be said that these jokes have been approved by the Academy of Film Arts.
In 2007, Heath Ledger rejected the Oscar's script to joke about Brokeback Mountain's "gay love", if this time Chris Rock is not out of the script, does it reflect that the discrimination within the Academy of Film Arts has not really improved, but where there is a problem, to repair where, and not to comprehensively examine, the organization as a whole's pluralistic consciousness?
Even if it's just Chris Rock's personal off-the-script performance, do we have to ask, ridicule others, even jokes about spilling salt on wounds, can be loudly said at an international award that has tens of millions of people watching?
Pluralism, Fairness and Inclusion (DEI) has become an emerging culture in the workplace in recent years, and the film industry is no exception, and the status and influence of the Oscar Awards, the annual awards ceremony is a moment of great attention, which can definitely drive industrial change and inject a sense of diversity and inclusion into the film industry.
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Just like in 2018, Frances McDormand won best actress for Three Billboards Ostside Ebbing (Missouri), she told everyone at the end of her speech:
"Look around, ladies and gentlemen, we all have stories to tell, all have plans to raise money. Tonight I'm going to leave you two words: 'Inclusion Rider.'"
Inclusion Rider is the "Diversity Add-on", which Francis Thomas Dorman later explained backstage at the Oscars: "When you're negotiating a film, attaching a diversity clause means you can ask for at least 50 percent diversity in your characters, not just in casting, but also in the crew." I've been in the film industry for 35 years and only then did I know that we're not going to go back!"
The ascension of Francis Demer Dorman has aroused everyone's attention to the pluralistic additional clauses, and everyone who has the right to speak and influence can use their own strength to direct the world in the direction of hope.
Pluralistic communion is not a test paper, but a reminder that there are many different voices and lives in the world
Policy is just the beginning, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) should not be just an exam paper, just fill it out.
It should be a kind of "consciousness" and "reminder" that makes us always remember that there are many different life forms and backgrounds that really exist in this world, and they all have their own experiences and voices, and they are all part of the story.
When developing scripts, portraying characters, finding actors, forming teams, and even defining excellence, the more diverse perspectives make the work closer to the real world and arouse our deep resonance.
Just like at this year's Oscars, we saw the hearing-impaired actor Troy Kotsur win Best Supporting Actor for "Melody of the Heart" (CODA), who said in sign language: "I want to dedicate this award to the deaf, the working partners of Melody, and all the people with disabilities, this is our moment." 」 The crowd was touched by that scene.
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Or Ariana DeBose, who won Best Supporting Actress for "West Side Story," and as one of the few gay actors in Hollywood to come out publicly, she tells everyone, "If you doubt yourself or feel like you're wandering in a gray area, I want to assure you: 'There will be a place for you in the world!"' 」
It is expected that the path of diversity and integration in the film industry, Hollywood, the Academy of Film Arts, and the Academy of Arts will lead us to open up new horizons, just as the Academy of Film Arts said in the "Aperture Project": "By redefining excellence, we will broaden our lens." （Broadening the lens through which we recognize excellence.）
When there are more and more stories, faces, voices, cultures, and stories that have not been discovered in the past on a big screen, and they begin to be seen, what a beautiful world it will be. This is also the beautiful meaning of the existence of movies.