Actors, directors, writers and cinematographers are among those who have come out in droves on social media to lambaste the Academy Awards for the announcement that four award categories would be presented during the commercial breaks of the Oscars.
On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that cinematography, makeup and hairstyling, film editing and live action short would be the affected categories. As HuffPost reported earlier this week, “the decision discredits the work of people behind the camera and will give less attention to some underrepresented voices, especially in the female-dominated category of makeup and hairstyling,” according to critics.
Celebrities including Seth Rogen, Josh Gad, Russell Crowe and Dan Levy made snide comments about the decision Tuesday on Twitter:
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
The Academy is removing cinematography, editing and make up from the televised show?
This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision, I’m not even going to be bothered trying to be a smart arse about it.
It’s just too fucking dumb for words.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) February 12, 2019
Movies are made (often saved) in the edit suite. To relegate that category, along with the art of cinematography(?!), to a commercial break is to discredit two of the most fundamental pillars of filmmaking. What kind of message does that send? #Oscars2019
— dan levy (@danjlevy) February 12, 2019
Directors Justine Bateman, Samuel West and Guillermo del Toro chimed in to call the move “an incorrect decision” and argue that the decision to cut the recognition of those behind the scenes goes against the tenets of what the academy represents.
The Academy exists to promote understanding of and love for film. Hard to see how removing recognition for editors, DoPs, make up artists and emerging filmmakers does that.
If Make Up and Hair organised a boycott of the ceremony they’d change their mind fast https://t.co/WStQxu4TjQ
— Samuel West (@exitthelemming) February 12, 2019
Del Toro later deleted his initial thoughts and tweeted a statement from the academy that reads:
No one is being removed from either the in-theater or the ABC live broadcast. This year, in a voluntary rotation that will change each year, four awards will be given live in an uninterrupted progression ― as always. They will be slightly edited off-line in the trailer (such as the walk up from seat to stage) ― as has been done for years with the Tony broadcast ― and then placed live into the ongoing show. It should be seamless and most viewers won’t notice. A carefully considered and expressed announcement was sent yesterday. Each year, the “edited” awards will change categories and will AIR during the ceremony.
Many nominees within the affected categories told Vanity Fair earlier this month that the “idea of being exiled from the telecast” left them feeling “vexed,” “personally attacked” and “heartbroken.”
“Honestly, I would not come if I thought that while I was getting the prize they were selling Coca-Cola or whatever,” Christian Berger, the Oscar-nominated Austrian cinematographer of “The White Ribbon,” told the publication.
However, despite the widespread concern and those who have been vocal, the aforementioned report in Vanity Fair also notes that there are many members of the academy and within the filmmaking community who “are afraid to speak frankly on the subject, for fear that it might harm their chances of winning an award in the future.”
The publication says that “several Oscar-nominated and winning craftspeople who had initially agreed to being interviewed” about the changes the academy has been making to the Oscars telecast “abruptly backed out.”
In addition to the controversial timing of the presentation of some awards, the academy announced last week that the show would have no host for the first time in three decades.
After a debacle involving past homophobic comments from Kevin Hart, who was initially chosen to host, the actor and comedian stepped down; the organization ultimately opted to forgo having a host entirely.