The Academy responds to open letter from Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee slamming Oscars 2019 telecast plan
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors has released a letter to its members regarding the controversial Oscars 2019 plan. The body had announced that 4 Oscar categories will be presented during the commercial breaks of this year’s broadcast to shorten the show to three hours.
Washington DC: The officers of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors has released a letter to its members regarding the controversial Oscars plan. The decision to present four awards during commercial breaks has drawn widespread criticism.
The Academy leaders sent the letter to its members assuring them that, “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,” reported Variety.
“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. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors,” the letter further stated.
The Academy officers stated that the changes were fully discussed and agreed to by the board of governors in August. They also emphasised that while the awards will be given out during the breaks, the winners' speeches will air in the broadcast. They went on to add that in future years, the categories that will be presented during the breaks will rotate.
The officers also went on to break down how these presentations will work:
All 24 award categories will be presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre and will be included in the broadcast.
· Four categories including Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Live Action Short were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters and to be included later in the broadcast. Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out.
· The four winning speeches will also be included in the broadcast.
· In the coming years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers. This year’s categories will be exempted in 2020.
· 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. Such decisions are fully deliberated.
The letter also stated that the show producers have “given great consideration to both Oscar tradition and our broad global audience. We sincerely believe you will be pleased with the show, and look forward to celebrating a great year in movies with all Academy members and with the rest of the world.”
The letter was signed by officers including president John Bailey, vice presidents Lois Burwell, Sid Ganis and Larry Karaszewski, Nancy Utley, treasurer Jim Gianopulos and secretary David Rubin.
The Academy’s response came quickly on the heels of an open letter signed by directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee, cinematographers like Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki and film editors like Tom Cross and William Goldenberg.
All of them called the Academy's plan to handle the four categories including cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling differently than the other 20 Oscar categories "nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.”
Many have called upon the Academy to reverse its decision on the matter.
The award ceremony will be held on 24 February.
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