In the days since the announcement of the four awards at the upcoming Academy Awards that will not be announced live, reaction has been swift and vocal.
It has gotten bad enough that the officers of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors have sent a letter to its membership attempting to assuage concerns about the decision and putting the blame on the media:
“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.”
They go on to say all 24 Award categories will be presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre, and included in the broadcast. The delayed four – Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action Short – will simply air later in the broadcast and producers will edit out the time spent walking to the stage, but will include the winning speeches.
The letter arrived just after one was sent to AMPAS, an open letter signed by dozens of high-profile cinematographers, actors and directors. Just some of the names include filmmakers Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Chris McQuarrie, Michael Mann, George Clooney, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, Joel Coen, Edgar Wright, Denis Villeneuve, Nicolas Winding Refn, Dee Rees, Pawel Pawlikoski, Luca Guadagnino, Ang Lee and Yorgos Lanthimos.
That letter says: “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.” While many have called on the Academy to change its mind, it’s unlikely to happen due to the politics involved. The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24th.