Al Pacino Addresses Oscars ‘Controversy’ Over Not Naming Best Picture Nominees: It Was ‘a Choice by Producers’ and ‘I Empathize With Those Slighted by This Oversight’

Al Pacino has issued a statement amid questions surrounding his appearance during the 2024 Oscars ceremony, where he awkwardly presented the best picture category. Pacino, who won an Academy Award for best actor in “Scent of a Woman,” did not list any of this year’s 10 nominees for best picture. Instead, he simply opened the envelope and said: “And my eyes see ‘Oppenheimer.’”

“There seems to be some controversy about my not mentioning every film by name last night before announcing the best picture award,” Pacino said in a statement. “I just want to be clear it was not my intention to omit them, rather a choice by the producers not to have them said again since they were highlighted individually throughout the ceremony. I was honored to be a part of the evening and chose to follow the way they wished for this award to be presented.”

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Pacino continued, “I realize being nominated is a huge milestone in one’s life and to not be fully recognized is offensive and hurtful. I say this as someone who profoundly relates with filmmakers, actors and producers so I deeply empathize with those who have been slighted by this oversight and it’s why I felt it necessary to make this statement. “

Oscars producer Molly McNearney also told Variety in an interview after the Oscars that “it was a creative decision” not to have Pacino list all 10 best picture nominees before announcing the winner. The reason? The creative team was “very worried that the show was going to be long” and clips from all 10 best picture nominees had already played throughout the ceremony.

“By the time you get to the end of the show, you’ve seen all 10 best picture clip packages,” McNearney said. “People just want to hear who wins, and they’re pretty ready for the show to be over. At least that’s what we anticipated. So, we did not give him a clip package. We did not give him nominations to read. I apologize if our decision to not have to read through all those nominations put him in a tough spot.”

McNearney added that Pacino’s decision not to use the traditional “And the Oscar goes to…” made things “a little confusing,” although she added: “But listen, that’s the excitement of live television. You never know what you’re going to get exactly!”

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel was asked by Kelly Ripa after the 2024 ceremony ended about Pacino’s awkward moment, to which Kimmel quipped: “I guess he’s never watched an awards show before. It seems like everyone in America knows the rhythm of how it’s supposed to go…down to the ‘And the Oscar goes to…’ But not Al Pacino! God bless him.”

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