Richard Dreyfuss understands art. He does not mince words when The Academy tries to use arbitrary morality rules to limit who can win an Oscar, “They make me vomit.”
In PBS’s 5/5/2023 airing of Firing Line, the JAWS actor came out swinging at The Academy Awards’ diversity rules. When host Margaret Hoover asked him about the requirements movies needed to meet in order to win an Oscar, Dreyfuss’s passion mirrors many of us who make art, “This is an art form. It’s also a form of commerce, and it makes money, but it’s an art. No one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is.”
As of 2020, according to Forbes, the Academy’s rules for the 2024/2025 Oscars were as follows:
- 1 lead or significant supporting actors from an under-represented ethnic/racial group
- 30% of the ensemble are from under-represented groups (women/POC/LGBTQ+/disabled)
- Storyline/Theme focuses on the aforementioned underrepresented groups
- 2+ department heads from under-represented groups with at least one being from an under-represented ethnic group
- 6+ key roles (outside of dept heads) from under-represented groups
- 30% of the crew from under-represented groups
- A number of ongoing paid apprenticeships for under-represented people
- Training opportunities for skills development in the crew for under-represented people.
- Multiple in-house senior executives must be from under-represented groups (which must include racial/ethnic groups)
The factors above are subsections of four primary criteria. A Best Picture nominee would need to achieve two of those four to be eligible to win the illustrious golden man.
In the interview, Richard Dreyfuss shares many views on society and politics that I’m afraid I have to disagree with. However, when it comes to objecting to taming art and making it fit arbitrary rules based on people’s immutable qualities, I’ll gladly back agree with him.
If a group of people were to make a brilliant film, why should to skin color, sex, or background of the crew or cast be judged instead of the work itself?
For more on The Academy Awards’ weird rules, check out our video here.[Soruce: PBS] [Source: Forbes]
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