Film Academy Clarifies Plan for Oscars Broadcast Amid Backlash

Angelo Anderson
February 15, 2019

Many filmmakers took to social media to complain about the move from the Academy, and now it looks like they've taken yet another step in their complaint: penning an open letter.

As EW and other outlets reported Monday, the Academy will be presenting four award categories - cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live-action short - during commercial breaks this year, and airing the acceptance speeches later in the broadcast. Among the many filmmakers railing against them are Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino.

While the letter urged the academy to reverse its decision, insiders say that - with the telecast less than two weeks away and the academy firmly committed to sticking to a three-hour telecast - it is unlikely.

"When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose goal it is to protect it", the letter continues, "then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy's promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form".

The Academy's decision was announced by a cinematography, incidentally - one John Bailey, who said the winners' speeches would be shown at the end of the ceremony, as well as online. Trying to set the record straight, the Academy has issued a statement citing "misinformation" and "inaccurate reporting" as misconstruing what their plan is for the ceremony.

Hollywood luminaries such as Brad Pitt, Emma Stone and Quentin Tarantino have come out against the decision to limit the broadcast of awards for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling.

"We'd like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others", the letter said.

"Compressing four categories and presenting them in a shortened version later during the Oscar telecast, will not amount to enough running time to save more than a handful of minutes", Rivkin continued.

Guillermo del Toro, last year's Oscar victor for Best Picture, expressed his disappointment, tweeting out his initial thoughts before amending them with this revised version, "Reposting, revised: I would not presume to suggest what categories should occur during commercials on Oscars night, but please: Cinematography & Editing are at the very heart of our craft".

- In future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers.

The Oscars will be held February 24 and broadcast on ABC.

Alfonso Cuarón, who is nominated for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for his film Roma, slammed the Academy for its exclusion of cinematography and editing in particular.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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