The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to institute “inclusion standards” governing eligibility for an Oscar, but not for all demographic categories: people of faith are not included. They will go into effect in 2024.
Those standards are based on race, ethnicity, sex, those with disabilities, sexual orientation and gender identity. Noticeably absent is any mention of religion.
This prompted Bill Donohue to write to the president of the Academy, David Rubin.
He pointed out that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Civil rights laws were later extended to cover sexual orientation, gender identity, those with disabilities and veterans.
“The Academy’s criteria cover all of these categories save for religion and veteran status,” Donohue said. “I am particularly interested in why religion—one of the original categories cited in the 1964 Civil Rights Act—was not mentioned by the Academy.”
Donohue added that “It is no secret that Hollywood is a gay-friendly community. Nor is it a secret that it is not religion-friendly. Why, then, would the Academy demand that movie production companies do a better job hiring more ‘LBGTQ+ people’ but not practicing Catholics and Protestants? Clearly the former are already overrepresented; the latter are not.”
We don’t expect an answer. We just wanted to let the Academy know we are on to their game.