The Oscars has faced no shortage of controversy this year, with the latest instalment of backlash due to the decision to present four of the awards this year during commercial breaks. The chosen awards that didn’t quite make the cut are: cinematography, film editing, hair and make-up, and live-action shorts. An open letter has already been sent to the Academy, signed by directors such as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee. It has been described as “nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.”
President of the Academy committee, John Bailey, has defended the decisions, saying that the “awards in four categories would be presented during the breaks” and “the winners’ speeches would be taped and aired later in the broadcast.”
In a more detailed letter, he explained the reasoning behind the changes:
As the Academy’s officers, 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. Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors.
· All 24 Award categories are presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre, and included in the broadcast.
· Four categories – Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action Short – were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast. Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out.
· The four winning speeches will be included in the broadcast.
· In future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers. This year’s categories will be exempted in 2020.
· This change in the show was discussed and agreed to by the Board of Governors in August, with the full support of the branch executive committees. Such decisions are fully deliberated.
Our show producers have given great consideration to both Oscar tradition and our broad global audience.
We sincerely believe you will be pleased with the show, and look forward to celebrating a great year in movies with all Academy members and with the rest of the world.
Click on the link below to watch some of the public’s reaction to some of the many controversies from this year’s Oscars: