This may be talked about more than the “whoops” moment two years ago at the Academy Awards when La La Land was announced as Best Picture and it was really Moonlight.
In another “What were they thinking?” move – the first coming when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences toyed with a “Popular Film” category – the home of the Oscar has announced that four categories – cinematography, hair and makeup, live action shorts and editing – will be removed from the live broadcast for commercials. However, the four categories will be streamed live on Oscar.com.
The plan to present during commercial breaks was reportedly first proposed by the Academy’s board of governors in August, but exactly which categories hadn’t been decided on at the time.
They were probably still reeling from the outcry regarding the Popular Picture category.
So, now we know. Although the cuts are reportedly meant to shorten the show — 24 awards in three hours — they’ve angered many who describe it as disrespectful.
The decision has been met with widespread criticism and condemnation ranging from Oscar fans to past winners including Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón.
Cuarón, a nominee in both the director and cinematography categories tweeted, “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) February 12, 2019
Others followed suit with their own tweets:
.@TheAcademy unveils 4 Oscar Categories to Be Presented During Commercial Breaks #cinematography #editing #makeup #hairstyling but I do NOT think that will improve ratings. We would have NO MOVIES without the talent of nominees in those categories https://t.co/Tn476GGurQ
— Julie Carmen (@JulieCarmen3) February 12, 2019
— Eric Alba (@alba) February 12, 2019
#DP & #EDITOR are arteries. I cannot live, breathe or give to the artform without them.
Fell in love with #filmmaking because of #cinematography + #editing. At 7yrs old, I could map every shot & the splicing of Twilight Zone.
— Vic Mahoney (@VictoriaMahoney) February 12, 2019
Even one Chicago filmmaker Michael Jolls has launched a change.org petition to demand ABC to keep the awards presentation intact.
There’s no doubt that the Academy has a time issue. Broadcasts have hovered around four hours for many a year. However, taking away the giving of awards to winners, who are mostly unknown to the public, is a real travesty as it is not just the actors, directors and writers who make the film – it is the hundreds of craftsmen also involved.
It’s disrespectful quite frankly.
We do hope ABC changes its decision. Or the ratings could go…
You can sign Jolls’ petition here.