Al Pacino Says Oscar Producers Told Him Not To Name Best Picture Nominees: “The Way They Wished For This Award To Be Presented”

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It wasn’t quite a La La Land-level Oscar snafu, but Al Pacino likely wishes he had a do-over after semi-botching the announcement of Oppenheimer’s Best Picture win and failing to name the nominees on Sunday. Watch the clip below.

Addressing the situation in a statement today, the Scent of a Woman Academy Award winner and nine-time nominee said it was the producers’ call.

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“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 through his reps. “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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Taking the stage to The Godfather theme and a standing ovation, Pacino thanked the crowd and said, “Some Shakespeare now I think is in order, right?” After saying we wasn’t going to do that, he added: “This is the time for the last award of the evening, and it’s my honor to present it. Ten wonderfilm films were nominated, but only one will take the award for Best Picture. And I have to go to the envelope for that, and I will. Here it comes. And my eyes see Oppenheimer.”

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There was an awkward beat or two as the audience and TV viewers processed that. Then, applause and cheers.

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As usual, clips from the Best Picture nominees were sprinkled throughout the telecast, but Pacino acknowledged that he understands that folks might have felt slighted.

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“I realize being nominated is a huge milestone in one’s life, and to not be fully recognized is offensive and hurtful,” Pacino’s added Monday. “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. ”

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Talking with ABC’s Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos after the ceremony, host Jimmy Kimmel said of Pacino: “I guess he never watched an awards show before? It seemed like everyone in America knows the rhythm of how it’s supposed to go, down to ‘And the Oscar goes to… .'”

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