Film Academy Clarifies Plan for Oscars Broadcast Amid Backlash

Oscar predictions Which acting category could see an upset

Oscar predictions Which acting category could see an upset

The Academy responded to the letter on Wednesday night, releasing a statement that said "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".

While the letter urged the academy to reverse its decision, insiders say that - with the telecast less than two weeks away and the academy firmly committed to sticking to a three-hour telecast - it is unlikely. The letter also blamed "inaccurate reporting and social media posts" for upsetting Academy members. The academy said edited versions of the victor acceptance speeches would be included later in the live broadcast.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Robert de Niro on Thursday (Friday AEDT) joined a growing protest in Hollywood over plans by Oscars organisers to present cinematography, editing and some other awards during commercial breaks at next week's Academy Awards ceremony.

The Academy announced on Monday it was removing four categories from the live telecast on February 24 and presenting them during commercial breaks: cinematography, film editing, makeup/hairstyling and live action short.

The four winning speeches will be included in the broadcast.

And for future ceremonies, four to six categories will be selected for rotation to not be shown live, though this year's categories will be exempt in 2020.

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This change in the show was discussed and agreed to by the Board of Governors in August, with the full support of the branch executive committees. Since then, the BPF Oscar was nixed (for now), the show was announced to be hostless, all the songs would be played to some degree, and last year's winners will now be on stage to present awards.

"Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy's original mission", they continued.

The open letter has also been signed by several people who are either nominated at the Oscars this year or will be presenting an award, including Alfonso Cuarón, Spike Lee, and Frances McDormand, leaving open the possibility that one of them might chastise the Academy on stage.

"Our show producers have given great consideration to both Oscar tradition and our broad global audience", the letter concluded.

"The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy's decision makes it clear that it's not too late to have this decision reversed", more than 90 cinematographers, directors, and filmmakers wrote in the open letter.

But the open letter, signed by more than 50 directors, actors and filmmakers, accused the academy of "relegating these essential crafts to lesser status" and insulting the professionals who work in the four areas.

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