Oscars Drama: The Academy Reverses Decision on Not Airing 4 Categories Following Hollywood Backlash

UPDATE, Feb. 15: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has reversed its stance to not air four categories from airing during this year’s Oscars broadcast following an industry-wide outcry.

“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,” the Academy said in a statement.

The Academy initially said it would announce the winners of cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling categories during commercial breaks, omissions which triggered fierce responses from industry figures such as Guillermo del Toro and Quentin Tarantino.

The original report follows.

This year, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will be awarding the Oscars for four categories during commercial breaks, and many in Hollywood are not at all happy with the decision.

The four categories that won’t be broadcast live are cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live-action short. The winning speeches, however, will be included at a later point in the broadcast. The removal of cinematography and film editing from the live airing, in particular, has many in the industry fuming – considering they are perhaps the two most important acts that constitute filmmaking, it’s no surprise.

In reaction to this decision, major names in Hollywood and Academy members like Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, Roger Deakins, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, Denis Villeneuve and many more signed a letter to the Academy imploring it to reverse the decision. The full letter can be read here.

“The Academy was founded in 1927 to recognize and uphold excellence in the cinematic arts, inspire imagination and help connect the world through the universal medium of motion pictures,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, we have drifted from this mission in our pursuit of presenting entertainment rather than in presenting a celebration of our art form and the people behind it.”

The letter ended by saying: “To quote our colleague Seth Rogen, ‘What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.’”

Per Deadline, shortly after the letter went live, the Academy released an official response, reading: “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. 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.”

The response goes on to reiterate that the four winning speeches for these categories will be shown during the broadcast, albeit not in a live fashion. The four categories were volunteered by their branches, and will have the winner’s time spent walking to and from the stage edited out to cut down on the broadcast’s length.

In the future, four to six different categories may be selected in rotation for this, and this year’s four categories will be exempt in 2020. This was agreed to by the Board of Governors in August with the full support of the branch executive committees.

The 91st Annual Academy Awards has gone through a rough lead up to its February 24 broadcast. Kevin Hart stepped down as its host after the Academy asked him to publicly apologize for past tweets that were deemed homophobic. Since then, Dwayne Johnson revealed he turned down the gig, and reports of a host-less Oscars and the Academy wanting the Avengers to host have surfaced.

In the meantime, find out where you can stream this year’s nominees and check out what we believe are the biggest nomination snubs at this year’s Oscars.

Bradley Cooper for Best Director\r\n\r\nIn general, the Academy showed plenty of love for A Star Is Born this year, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, among others. That\u0027s why it\u0027s so strange to see Bradley Cooper ignored when it comes to the Best Director category. You could argue that it\u0027s a competitive field this year, with the likes of Yorgos Lanthimos, Spike Lee and Alfonso\u00a0Cuar\u00f3n fighting for the win. Still, it\u0027s seems strange to ignore Cooper in this category when so many other awards shows have recognized him. It\u0027s probably a bad sign for A Star Is Born\u0027s chances at winning Best Picture.”,”height”:1049,”width”:1867,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/bradley-cooper-1548186180510.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/bradley-cooper-1548186180510_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”02″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Ignoring John David Washington and\u00a0Timoth\u00e9e Chalamet\r\nOf all the categories this year, Best Actor is the one with the most questionable lineup. Two actors many would have considered major frontrunners this year – John David Washington and\u00a0Timoth\u00e9e Chalamet – were snubbed instead.\r\n
\r\nWashington is the star of BlacKkKlansman, a film that\u0027s gotten plenty of recognition in other categories. Why ignore the actor who was so crucial in tying the film together? And considering how much the Academy loved Call Me By Your Name last year, why didn\u0027t Chalamet get a nomination for his equally powerful turn in Beautiful Boy?”,”height”:787,”width”:1400,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/blackkklansman-1548186180509.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/blackkklansman-1548186180509_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”03″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Where\u0027s Won\u0027t You Be My Neighbor?\r\n\r\nBest Documentary isn\u0027t generally one of the more exciting categories in any given year, but we imagine a lot of Oscar viewers were invested in seeing Won\u0027t You Be My Neighbor? get a nomination. This documentary about the life of Fred Rogers was just the sort of uplifting tribute we all needed in 2018. Clearly, the Academy disagreed, as it\u0027s conspicuously absent among the Best Documentary nominees.”,”height”:435,”width”:774,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/bemyneighbor-775×515-1548186180508.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/bemyneighbor-775×515-1548186180508_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”04″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

First Man Gets Technical\r\nDirector Damien Chazelle has been shown plenty of love by the Academy in years past, thanks to films like Whiplash and La La Land (the latter of which scored a whopping 14 nominations in 2017). But things are a little different this time around, as First Man was shut out of the major acting and directing categories.\r\n
\r\nTo be fair, First Man received plenty of attention in technical categories like Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design. But surely it deserved some sort of acting nomination, right? We would have settled for a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Claire Foy, a la the Golden Globes.”,”height”:674,”width”:1200,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/first-man-1548186180512.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/first-man-1548186180512_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”05″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

No Black Panther Acting Noms\r\nBlack Panther has the distinction of being the first Marvel movie nominated for Best Picture. That\u0027s a pretty huge deal, even if its chances of actually winning seem slim. And we\u0027re all the more doubtful given that Black Panther is absent from the Best Director and Best Acting categories.\r\n
\r\nWe can understand star Chadwick Boseman and director Ryan Coogler being ignored in favor of other candidates. But you\u0027d think if Black Panther got a Best Picture nom that the Academy might also consider Letitia Wright for Best Supporting Actress and Michael B. Jordan for Best Supporting Actor. If you\u0027re going to nominate Black Panther with the expectation of it actually winning, it might as well be to recognize Jordan\u0027s amazing performance as Killmonger.”,”height”:1402,”width”:2490,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/black-panther-2-erik-stevens-killmonger-1548186180510.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/black-panther-2-erik-stevens-killmonger-1548186180510_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”06″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Emily Blunt MIA\r\n\r\nEmily Blunt\u0027s name is notably absent from the Best Actress category despite the fact that the Academy had multiple opportunities to recognize her. Blunt deserved a nomination both for her performance as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns and as Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place. Though to be fair, the Best Actress field is pretty heated this year.”,”height”:597,”width”:1062,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/a-quiet-place-super-bowl-tv-spot-1548186180507.png”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/a-quiet-place-super-bowl-tv-spot-1548186180507_{size}.png”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”07″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Not Enough If Beale Street Could Talk\r\n\r\nWe\u0027re surprised to see so little recognition for If Beale Street Could Talk in this year\u0027s list of nominees. This drama did get nominated Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Regina King. On the other hand, neither of the film\u0027s leads, KiKi Layne and Stephan James, received acting noms. Even more strange is that the film was ignored for Best Director and Best Picture. The Academy went all-in on his film Moonlight two years ago, but their love for Jenkins seems to have faded a bit since then.”,”height”:1011,”width”:1799,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/if-beale-street-could-talk-still-2018-1548186180514.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/if-beale-street-could-talk-still-2018-1548186180514_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”08″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Spider-Verse\u0027s \u0022Sunflower\u0022 Dries Up\r\n\r\nThere\u0027s a lot to like in this year\u0027s lineup of Best Original Song nominees, from A Star Is Born\u0027s \u0022Shallow\u0022 to The Ballad of Buster Scruggs\u0027 \u0022When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings.\u0022 But we can\u0027t help but mourn the absence of Post Malone and Swae Lee\u0027s \u0022Sunflower,\u0022 the centerpiece of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse\u0027s amazing soundtrack. We\u0027ll just have to take solace in the fact that Spider-Verse was nominated for Best Animated Feature.”,”height”:699,”width”:1242,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/spider-verse-1548186180517.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/spider-verse-1548186180517_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:”09″,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

Toni Collette\u0027s Oscar Horror\r\n\r\nHereditary turned out to be that rare combination of horror movie that\u0027s both critically acclaimed and truly terrifying. And much of the film\u0027s success rests on the shoulders of star Toni Collette. Sadly, the Academy has never shown much love for the horror genre, and that trend continues this year with Collette being snubbed in the Best Actress category.”,”height”:856,”width”:1521,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/hereditary-1548186180513.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/hereditary-1548186180513_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:10,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

No Female Directors?\r\nThere\u0027s been a lot of attention in recent years on the need for the Academy to do more to recognize women and minorities. In some ways, this year\u0027s list of nominations is encouraging, what with the prevalence of black actors and filmmakers. But on the other hand, we can\u0027t help but notice the utter lack of women among the Best Director nominees.\r\n\r\nThe biggest omission here is\u00a0Chlo\u00e9 Zhao. Her moving, beautifully shot film The Rider appeared on countless Best of 2018 lists, yet it was completely snubbed by the Academy. There\u0027s also Karyn Kusama, who directed the crime film Destroyer. At least star Nicole Kidman got a Golden Globe nomination for that one, but Destroyer was totally ignored here.”,”height”:1152,”width”:2048,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/rider-1548186180515.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/rider-1548186180515_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:11,”albumTotalCount”:12},{“caption”:”

First Reformed, First Ignored\r\n\r\nFirst Reformed reminded us just how strong a filmmaker Paul Schrader is, as well as featuring one of the best performances of Ethan Hawke\u0027s career. But you wouldn\u0027t know that from the film\u0027s poor showing at the Oscars this year. Other than a nomination for Best Original Screenplay, First Reformed got nothing.\u00a0Apparently it was a lower priority than Bohemian Rhapsody?”,”height”:675,”width”:1199,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/first-reformed-1548186180512.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/01\/22\/first-reformed-1548186180512_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the Major 2019 Oscar Nomination Snubs “,”relativePosition”:12,”albumTotalCount”:12}]’

Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

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