The Academy Awards are continuing to suffer through bad press leading up to the big show on Sunday, February 24. After comedian Kevin Hart stepped down as host instead of apologizing for his anti-LGBTQ tweets from 2010 (Hart said he apologized many times but we’re still having trouble finding any of those instances), the Academy made the surprising decision to go without a host for the first time in almost three decades. Now the Academy has announced more changes, including moving four categories to commercial breaks. None of these categories have to do with acting. Shocker.
Cinematography, film editing, live-action short and makeup and hairstyling all received the bump and will now be given out during commercial breaks in an effort to bring the award show’s running time down to three hours. Is this really necessary? Didn’t we just gain 12 minutes of monologue time?
In an sent on Monday by the Academy’s president John Bailey, members were told of the changes, with Bailey stating that all 24 categories will still be honoured and that snippets from the acceptance speeches of the four affected categories will air later in the broadcast. Bailey said in his email that six of the 17 branches of awards offered to have their category moved to the commercial break, with the four awards selected at random. These four categories will return to the televised broadcast in 2020, when four to six other categories will likely be shifted to the commercial break. Again, we can assume it’s not going to be the acting awards.
“Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience,” wrote Bailey in his email. “This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago — and it is the same today.” In other words, this incredibly long award show will still be incredibly long, but viewers won’t sit through awards where they don’t recognize the names of the nominees.
On the plus side, speeches will air in full on the worldwide stream, with this year being the first time fans could stream the show live around the world.
The Academy has heard the complaints over their previous decision to only include performances of two of this year’s Best Original Song nominees and have now confirmed that all five songs will be performed. So, it won’t just be the two songs that everyone knows, although we are really excited for “Shallow” and “All The Stars.”
Moving four awards to the commercial break really feels like a slap in the face to the people who have spent their careers working behind the scenes on films and already get very little recognition. Sure, the Academy Awards do run long, but trying to please the public by cutting categories isn’t the answer. It’s an award show. You should hand out awards. Most people tuning in get that. The problem with the Oscars isn’t the categories, it’s the nominees. Want more people tuning in? Nominate movies that movie goers actually go to the theatre to see. Nominate actors that represent the world around us. Nominate a freaking woman, already.
The 2000 Academy Awards not only handed out Best Cinematography (a nobody named Julia Roberts gave the award to some foreign film about crouching tigers) but also presented an honorary award to another cinematographer. Only 43 million people watched.
— Joe Reid (@joereid) February 12, 2019
The Oscars get shit for being elitist but they are one of the only awards shows that televises winners in the craft categories. This decision is reprehensible. Shame on the Academy. Shame on ABC. If you don’t love a 3+ hour Oscars, you don’t love the Oscars. https://t.co/zSNOTDHhSQ
— Chris Schleicher (@cschleichsrun) February 11, 2019
Let’s apply @TheAcademy‘s logic, (in relegating 4 categories to commercial breaks) to LAST YEAR’S Oscar ceremony.
Roger Deakins finally wins after 13 losses. He gets a standing ovation.
“I really love my job. I’ve been doing it a long time, as you can see.” pic.twitter.com/mu39FnPJUM
— Rhett Bartlett (@dialmformovies) February 11, 2019
The Oscars taught me the word “cinematography.” And when the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff won an Honorary Oscar in 2001, the montage of his brilliant career enthralled me into a life of film fandom. For shame, @TheAcademy, for shame.
— Darren Franich (@DarrenFranich) February 12, 2019
The Academy can’t figure out how to fit 24 awards into 130 minutes of programming. Maybe they should hire a good editor. #oscars
— Douglas Crise (@Barrenrun) February 12, 2019
For an awards do that is supposed to be by the industry, for the industry, the Academy sure doesn’t have a lot of respect for the crew who put in most of the work. https://t.co/ICsv8zKaAm
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) February 12, 2019
Shame on you, @TheAcademy. I’m a writer/director, and I never could have made a single film without cinematographers, editors, and makeup/hairstyling teams. Implying that their work is any less important than mine is wildly disrespectful to the collaborative art of filmmaking.
— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) February 11, 2019
BREAKING: The Academy to cut every award from the Oscars telecast. Will replace it with 179 minutes of commercials narrated by Matthew McConaughey.
UPDATE: McConaughey out.
— Witney Seibold (@WitneySeibold) February 12, 2019
When Trevor won the Best Live Action Short Oscar in 1994, it was a big moment for LGBTQ representation. It helped serve as the foundation for @TrevorProject, a great charity that supports queer youth. Having that spotlight helped save lives. @TheAcademy should still #PresentAll24
— Josh Parham (@JRParham) February 11, 2019
CTV’s live coverage of the 91st Oscars begins Sunday, February 24 at 5:30 p.m. ET with etalk Live at the Oscars. Don’t miss a minute of the star-studded red carpet action: Follow along on social @etalkctv or join the conversation using #etalkredcarpet! For the latest Oscars news, exclusive interviews and more, visit etalk.ca/Oscars.