12 years a slaveHere’s what I learnt from the Academy Awards 2014.

1) You CAN have a black lead character – 12 Years A Slave

2) You CAN have a female lead character – Gravity

3) You CAN have lead characters who are gay – Dallas Buyers Club

4) You CAN have lead characters who are over 60 – Nebraska, Philomena

5) Hollywood DOES reward originality – Her

And those movies aren’t just winning awards, they are all commercially successful. Hollywood, let’s not forget, does not reward movies that are a commercial disaster.

So the next time you get told that your spec script isn’t commercially viable because your lead character is a woman, or black, or over 60, or gay just remind them to look up the winners at the Academy Awards 2014.

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Hayley McKenzie