Standard B is focused on hiring behind the scenes and asks productions to meet at least one of the following criteria:
Two or more department heads — meaning jobs like director, cinematographer or composer — must be female, L.G.T.B.Q., disabled or part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
At least six other crew members must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
At least 30 percent of the film’s crew must hail from the four underrepresented groups continually laid out in these guidelines.
The first criterion initially appears easiest to satisfy, as department heads like costume designers, makeup artists, hairstylists and casting directors skew heavily female, though there is a further stipulation: At least one of those jobs must also go to someone from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, which means that simply hiring white women won’t fulfill the requirement. Still, largely white best-picture nominees like “The Irishman” and “The Tree of Life,” which each employed female casting directors and Mexican cinematographers, would have no problem meeting the demands of Standard B.
If it’s starting to dawn on you that most best-picture contenders wouldn’t have to change a thing under the new guidelines, just wait until you get to Standards C and D. Standard C requires one of two criteria be met:
The film’s distributor or financing company must have at least two interns from an underrepresented group.
The film’s production, distribution or financing company must offer training or work opportunities to people from those underrepresented groups.
Just about any studio with a robust internship program would already meet those stipulations, and Standard D is even simpler: It merely asks that some of the senior marketing, publicity and distribution executives on a film are from an underrepresented group. Given the number of women and gay men who work in the field of publicity, that is an easy bar for any studio to clear.
Since only two of the four standards must be met for a film to qualify for the Oscars top prize, and Standards C and D are so easy for most studios to satisfy, best-picture contenders could remain fairly homogeneous both behind and in front of the camera. In other words, if a filmmaker still wants to make a war movie about white men like “1917” or “American Sniper,” that’s permitted by the new Oscar guidelines as long as the studio distributing it has done the bare minimum when hiring interns and marketing executives.
This content was originally published here.