The Academy caused quite a backlash this past week when they revealed the four Oscars categories that would be announced during commercial breaks. Luminaries from every corner of Hollywood came out against this decision, some even writing an open letter demanding the team behind the scenes change it before it was too late. Now, with just a little over a week to go, they have.
The Motion Picture Academy officially reversed their plans to have four Oscars given out during commercial breaks late Friday. The categories in question were for Cinematography, Editing, Make-Up & Hairstyling, and Live Action Short. The first three categories brought out the heavyweights, such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo Del Toro and many others, who declared that while all other categories were expendable, no one has ever made a movie without a camera or editing. The Hair and Make-Up crowd aired their grievances too. No one really stood up for the Live Action short, but that may only be because that category has come under much backlash itself, with Detainment, a short about the murder of a 2 year old boy, causing much controversy as the parents of the dead child demanded it be removed from the race. It wasn’t.
This is the first Oscars telecast since 1989 that has flown without a host. The previous attempt was met with disaster and is considered by many to be the worst Oscarcast in history. This year’s show has been plagued by problems from the start. And now, it is trying to course correct, allowing all the categories to be announced live during the actual show. The officers of the Academy’s board of governors had this to say.
“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards, Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling. All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
Every branch of the Academy agreed that this was the right decision. Having kept the four cuts, it’s estimated that the show would have lost at least 45 minutes, but may have still clocked in at three hours. One other aspect that isn’t being discussed is how they were going to coordinate giving out the awards during the commercial breaks, since winners often go overboard with their speeches, and commercials are dead locked at a very strict amount of time for advertisers. There was definitely a chance or two that the show would return from commercial break to find winners in mid-speech, or awkwardly trying to leave the stage in a hurry. So that’s been diverted at the cost of a longer runtime.
The 91st Academy Awards will be broadcast live next Sunday, February 24, on ABC, and it will be simulcast streaming online without any commercial breaks for fans all across the world. this news comes from Deadline.