Following a meeting on Feb. 14, 2019, with cinematographers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts (Oscars) reversed its decision to hand out Oscars during commercial breaks. CEO Dawn Hudson and president John Bailey pledged to hand out all awards live on air.
Initially, to shorten the Feb. 24 Oscars presentations for make-up and hair, editing, cinematography, and live short action was going to be presented and streamed online during commercial breaks.
Filmmakers signed a letter to the Oscar organizers asking them to reverse their decision. The filmmakers included; Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Sandra Bullock, and Guillermo del Toro.
Celebrities took to Twitter. Russell Crow tweeted that the decision by the Academy was stupid.
Alfonso Cuaron who is nominated for 10 Oscars from his film “Roma” including best cinematography, which was one of the awards slotted not to air tweeted that in the history of movies, no masterpieces have existed without editing and cinematography.
BlacKkKlansman’s director Spike Lee who has been nominated for six Oscars wrote to the LA Times that he would be lost and wandering in a cinema wilderness without the help of film editors and cinematographers.
A statement released by the Academy said that they heard the complaints from the members and all awards would be presented during the show. The Academy continued by saying that they look forward to the Oscars.
The Academy mailed its members a questionnaire asking to vote to cut the Oscars to 180 minutes. The show will now air for over three hours on local television stations.
The Oscars have had much drama surrounding the show this year. For the first time in the 30 year history of the Oscars, there will be no host. The Academy made this decision after the scheduled host, Kevin Hart stepped down after it was revealed he had tweeted homophobic remarks. Hart apologized, and for the fifth time in Oscar’s 91-year-old history, a host resigned. The event will use different celebrities to present the awards.
Last year, the Academy brought up the idea of introducing a new category for popular films to the awards show. It was also considered some of the artists who were nominated for the best song would be excluded from performing during the broadcast. Both ideas were abandoned, and the Academy confirmed all original songs would be performed.
Last year, the Oscars had record low ratings of 26.5 million viewers and lasted for over four hours. Hence it became a priority to cut down the show. After the broadcast finishes, ABC will air a teaser of a new drama coming to the network. Generally, the Oscars ratings as the most viewed broadcast which is not NFL related.
Slated to appear as presenters are: Sarah Paulson, Jason Momosa, Melissa McCarthy, Jason McAvoy, Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Kay, Laura Dern, Emilia Clarke, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Constance Wu, Javier Bardem, Tessa Thomson, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Lopez, Whoopie Goldberg, Tina Fey, Daniel Craig, Awkwafina, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, and Kasey Musgraves.
The Oscars will be available from live stream for the first time. Before reversing the decision, the speeches from the winning categories would have their speeches edited and aired at a later time in the broadcast.
Written by Barbara Sobel
The Guardian: Oscars reverses plan for ad-break presentations after industry outcry
BBC: Oscars reverses plan for ad-break presentations after industry outcry
Rolling Stone: Academy Awards Reverse Decision to Cut Categories From Oscars 2019 Telecast
Featured and Top Image by Fleur De Lis Film Studios Courtesy of Wikimedia