Academy Changes Course After Backlash, Will Air All Oscars Categories Live
The Motion Picture Academy reversed its previous decision to not air four categories during the 91st Academy Awards following a backlash from stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
The Academy “has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards — Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” a statement from the Academy read, according to the Hollywood Reporter Friday. (RELATED: Report: Angelina Jolie Given Ultimatum Regarding Custody Of Her And Brad Pitt’s Kids)
“All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format,” it added. “We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
The president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Kees van Oostrum, thanked the Academy for the “brave” move.
“It was clear to us from the outset that the original decision was difficult, making your current direction that much more brave,” van Oostrum wrote.
“This decision was made to reduce the length of the show from four hours to three. The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed,” the stars shared in an open letter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the producers of this year’s broadcast.
As previously reported, it comes on the heels of a report earlier in the week following the announcement that the categories for “Best Cinematography — along with Film Editing, Live Action Short and Makeup and Hairstyling” would not be broadcast and instead presented during the commercial breaks.
“Unfortunately, we have drifted from this mission in our pursuit of presenting entertainment rather than in presenting a celebration of our art form and the people behind it,” it added, noting how the Academy was founded and created to “recognize and uphold excellence in cinematic arts”and “help connect the world through the universal medium of motion pictures.”
“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” the letter continued.
“The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, has stated that he will determine what ’emotionally resonant’ moments from the four winners’ speeches will be selected to air later in the broadcast,” the letter went on. “The show will cut any additional comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees as they see fit.”
“We consider this abbreviation and potential censorship to run contrary to the spirit of the Academy’s mission,” it added. “To quote our colleague Seth Rogen, ‘What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.'”
After the letter was published, Academy President John Bailey released a statement that clarified the plans, stating that there had been “inaccurate reporting” on the matter.