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EXCLUSIVE: Daily Wire Poll: Most Americans Oppose Oscars’ Diversity Requirements

   DailyWire.com
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 19: General view of Oscar-like statues on Hollywood Blvd near the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland on April 19, 2021 in Hollywood, California.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The majority of Americans don’t believe diversity requirements should be a significant factor in whether or not a film is nominated for an Oscar at the Academy Awards, according to the findings of a new SurveyMonkey poll commissioned by The Daily Wire. 

With the Academy Awards only days away, the poll asked a national sample of Americans whether diversity in a film’s cast, themes or crew should play a significant role in getting an award nomination or whether artistic merit should be the sole factor. 

Sixty-three percent of respondents agreed that “films should solely be judged on their artistic merits,” while only 24% of respondents said that “diversity should be a significant factor” in a film’s nomination. The other respondents indicated they were unsure. 

Nearly half of non-white respondents, 48%, said artistic merit should be the sole consideration, while 38% said diversity should be factored in the nomination decision.

Last year, the Academy Awards announced that, beginning in 2024, a film will only qualify for Best Picture if it meets specific diversity criteria in two of four diversity areas. The Academy’s new guidelines cover “on-screen representation, themes and narratives” and “creative leadership and project team,” as well as so-called industry access opportunities and audience development diversity.

When respondents were provided with verbatim quotes directly from the Academy’s press release explaining the new guidelines, 35% of respondents support them. Furthermore, only 13% of respondents strongly support them. Half of respondents opposed the new standards, including 32% of respondents who indicated they strongly oppose them. 

In total, 39% of respondents said that they believed the new diversity standards would improve films, while 33% of them indicated that they would make films worse. 

Many of the survey’s respondents also indicated they do not plan to watch the Oscars this Sunday, but reasons for skipping the annual show vary largely by party affiliation. 

Among self-identified Republicans, 47% said that they definitely don’t plan to watch the Oscars this year, and only 9% said they definitely plan to watch. Sixty-three percent of Republicans who plan to skip the Oscars said it was because the program has become too political.

Among self-identified Democrats, 20% said that they definitely don’t plan to watch the Oscars this year, and 16% said that they definitely plan to watch. Sixty percent of Democrats who plan to skip the Oscars said it was because they don’t typically watch it, while another 34% said it was because the show is too boring. 

Moreover, 66% of respondents said they haven’t watched any of the movies nominated for Best Picture this year. An even larger number of Republican respondents, 78%, haven’t watched any of the movies up for the award. 

One of the largest areas of agreement among the respondents was the belief that Hollywood shouldn’t modify films to appease foreign entities, such as China’s National Film Bureau. In total, 82% of Americans indicated that Hollywood shouldn’t censor, even if that meant, for example, a film wouldn’t be screened in China.

Unsurprisingly, more than two-thirds of respondents indicated that they have not been to the movies in the last year, and 8% of respondents said that they haven’t been to the movies in the last month. Only 38% of Americans who frequented the movies at least several times per year last year said that they “definitely” plan to return to the movies when pandemic restrictions ease up in their states. 

When they do return to the movies, the poll’s results seem to suggest that most Americans plan to watch action films. The most highly anticipated film of the year, according to the survey, is “No Time To Die,” the new installment in the James Bond series, which 39 percent of the respondents said they plan to watch. This was followed by Tom Cruises’s “Top Gun: Maverick” at 36 percent and “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, at 32 percent.

The online poll was commissioned by The Daily Wire and conducted by SurveyMonkey on April 21-22, 2021. The survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,203 American adults, 35% of whom identified as Democrats, 32% of whom identified as Republicans, and 33% of whom identified as Independents. The margin of error was 3%. 

Read the Academy’s full diversity criteria below:

For the 96th Oscars (2024), a film must meet TWO out of FOUR of the following standards to be deemed eligible:

STANDARD A:  ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES
To achieve Standard A, the film must meet ONE of the following criteria:

A1. Lead or significant supporting actors

At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

A2. General ensemble cast

At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

A3. Main storyline/subject matter

The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM
To achieve Standard B, the film must meet ONE of the criteria below:

B1. Creative leadership and department heads

At least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads—Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer—are from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:
• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

B2. Other key roles

At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc.

B3. Overall crew composition
At least 30% of the film’s crew is from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD C:  INDUSTRY ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES
To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities

The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)

The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing
 

STANDARD D: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution

The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group

  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Black/African American
  • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Middle Eastern/North African
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • ​Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

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