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Oscar nominees including Barry Jenkins and Regina King digest the major Oscars event before The Big Show. (Feb. 5)
AP

The film academy’s decision to present four awards during the commercial breaks is proving to be unpopular among the acting community. 

A spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday that the awards for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short will be presented off-air. 

In a letter obtained by Variety Wednesday, the academy clarified the decision that has sparked outrage from celebrities, including Oscar winner Russell Crowe. 

“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,” the letter reads. “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.”

The letter said the winning speeches from the four categories, which were volunteered by their branches, will air later in the broadcast, editing out any time spent walking to the stage. The speeches will also be live-streamed on Oscar.com and the film academy’s social accounts.

In future years, four to six rotating categories could be cut from the broadcast. Cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short will be exempt in 2020.

Russell Crowe poses with his Oscar for best actor for his work in “Gladiator” at the 73rd annual Academy Awards, in this Sunday, March 25, 2001. (Photo: REED SAXON, Associated Press)

Crowe, who won a best-actor Oscar in 2001 for “Gladiator,” took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the omission. 

“The Academy is removing cinematography, editing and make up from the televised show? This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision,” he tweeted Tuesday. “I’m not even going to be bothered trying to be a smart arse about it. It’s just too (expletive) dumb for words.”

In a follow-up tweet Wednesday, he added: “It has been a message delivered very badly and received by cinephiles all over the world the same way. These categories will be in the televised event, but, will not be “live”… spurious reasoning, curious decision.”

Alfonso Cuaron, who is nominated for cinematography, original screenplay and directing the film “Roma,” emphasized that “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

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro couldn’t help but agree. He won Oscars for best director and picture for “The Shape of Water” in 2018. 

“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. They are not inherited from a theatrical or literary tradition: they are cinema itself,” he tweeted.

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. They are not inherited from a theatrical or literary tradition: they are cinema itself.

— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) February 13, 2019

Actor Seth Rogen tweeted, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.” Fellow actor Josh Gad agreed, replying: “Not quite sure why the Academy Awards seems to hate the Academy Awards this year.”

What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.

— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 12, 2019

“Vice” director Adam McKay said earlier that he was “bummed” by the idea. He had heard whispers that makeup and hairstyling was going to be one of the unlucky categories, which he considered a particular blow for the people who worked so hard to transform Christian Bale into Dick Cheney for his film.

“That crew worked so hard,” McKay said. “Vice” is also up for an editing award, which will be presented off air as well.

Last week at the Nominees Luncheon, “Bohemian Rhapsody” editor John Ottman called the change insulting. His ended up being in one of the cut categories as well.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” sound mixer Paul Massey just worried that he wouldn’t know what to tell friends and family who wanted to watch the show to possibly see him win. Although he offered one suggestion to ensure a swift show: Seat the below-the-line nominees closer to the stage. For some, it’s a long walk up to the podium and show producers have promised that everyone gets only 90 seconds from the time their name is called to get up and say your thanks before the orchestra starts playing.

The plan to hand out certain awards during commercials to achieve a three-hour runtime was announced in August.

The Oscars telecast will see a few tweaks this year. (Photo: Danny Moloshok, Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

More: Sean Penn writes essay in support of Bradley Cooper, ‘A Star Is Born’

Also: No Kevin Hart, no problem? It’s been 30 years since the Oscars went without a host

The 91st Oscars will air on ABC on Feb. 24.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Author : USA TODAY

Publish date : 2019-02-14 05:24:14