During a meeting on Tuesday, the board of governors approved a temporary hold on the requirement that a film needs a seven-day theatrical run in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscars.
Instead, films will be allowed to be released digitally without playing in theaters. However, that doesn’t mean any movie premiering on a streaming service is eligible for Oscar gold. To be considered, the streamed film must have already had a planned theatrical release. The film must also be made available on the Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of the film’s streaming or VOD release.
Sounds like this will only apply to films released in 2020.
I don't see how it matters one way or another. Most films already meet these criteria because they are, contrary to what most people online think, small and completely irrelevant.
Besides, for me this is a meaningless change for another simple reason - namely that the Oscars are pretty much meaningless anyway. 99% of the films do not have an Oscar campaign. So studios can still make movies with all white guys if they want to, only hire white guys for their crew and marketing teams if they so choose.
This will not bring more diversity to the screens nor is it an attack on artistic freedom because a) you won't achieve greater diversity at the academy level, you can only do it at the studio level. Doing it at the Oscars is completely meaningless. And b) nobody forces the studios or artists to follow these guidelines. If you want to get an Oscar you have to follow their rules, sure. But that's only fair since they make the rules and they give the awards. If you don't want to follow them, you don't have to. It really isn't enforcing anything.
Also how would the inclusion of LGBT people actually work? I don't live in the US so I'm no expert on your laws and regulations but shouldn't it be against the law to demand disclosure of people's sexual orientation at the workplace?