Oscars introducing diversity criteria for films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday announced that filmmakers will now have to meet a set of diversity criteria for the first time in order for their work to be eligible for Oscars.

The organization said in a statement that they will work with the Producers Guild of America to create a task force of industry leaders to develop "representation and inclusion standards" for Oscars eligibility by July 31 that will "encourage equitable hiring practices on and off screen."

The movie academy has faced criticism in the past.

In 2015, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite emerged - a backlash against an all-white field of acting contenders.

The academy responded in part by doubling the number of women and people of color in its invitation-only ranks.

Still, by 2019 just 32% of its roughly 8,000 members were women, and 16% were people of color.

Among other new measures, the film academy will guarantee 10 best picture contenders annually, rather than a fluctuating number up to 10, to give more films a shot at the industry's most prestigious prize.

The development of new diversity criteria is part of a 5-year effort to promote diversity.

The new rules will not apply to films vying for Oscars at the 2021 ceremony.