The Academy Awards continue to generate bad press.
With less than two weeks to go before the big night, the host-less awards show is being bashed about the announcement of four categories — cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling — that will be presented during commercial breaks this year. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the academy’s board of governors approved the plan to reduce the 24 categories during the telecast months ago, but it has just been made public which ones will be omitted on Feb. 24.
While academy president John Bailey tried to downplay the move — explaining that the winners’ speeches will air later in the broadcast, the speeches can be viewed in their entirety online and the categories may rotate each year — the decision, especially about the cinematography award, had been ripped by those in the biz. Russell Crowe, an Oscar winner for 2000’s Gladiator, called it a “fundamentally stupid decision” and “just too f***ing dumb for words.”
Guillermo del Toro, the Academy Award-winning director of 2017’s The Shape of Water, wrote in a since deleted tweet that cinematography and editing “are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”
Director Alfonso Cuarón, who won best editing for 2014’s Gravity, wrote, “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) February 12, 2019
Alec Baldwin, a nominee for 2003’s The Cooler, wrote, “To hand out these awards in such a flagrantly dismissive fashion is unconscionable. Cinematography? An afterthought? The Academy keeps sinking lower and lower w these ideas.”
To hand out these awards in such a flagrantly dismissive fashion is unconscionable. Cinematography? An afterthought?
The Academy keeps sinking lower and lower w these ideas.https://t.co/nOlPUS3trE
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) February 12, 2019
Seth Rogen wrote, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s job it is to literally film things.”
What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 12, 2019
To which Josh Gad replied, “Agreed. Not quite sure why the Academy Awards seems to hate the Academy Awards this year.”
Agreed. Not quite sure why the Academy Awards seems to hate the Academy Awards this year. https://t.co/2QkIR4Rwrx
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 12, 2019
Here were some more from Academy Award nominees, including Joss Whedon and Jennifer Tilly:
A lot of filmmakers I respect are up in arms about this year’s #Oscars, but I think it was a brave choice for the academy to remove the “viewers” category
— Joss Whedon (@joss) February 12, 2019
For every young person who might watch the Oscars and dream of one day being an editor or cinematographer or make-up artist, I hope you enjoy all the musical numbers.
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 12, 2019
Cinematography and editing are two of the most crucial things that make or break a movie! Why ghetto-ize certain categories? Are we honoring achievement in film or just staring at celebrities? So disrespectful. https://t.co/96eBcNfeRM
— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) February 12, 2019
And others in the industry:
The product Hollywood peddles wouldn’t exist without cinematography, editing and hair & make-up. This is absurdly stupid and disrespectful. https://t.co/aRAB58rr2c
— Matthew D'Ambrosio™ (@drmattdambrosio) February 11, 2019
I'M SORRY WHAT?! CINEMATOGRAPHY?!! EDITING?! MAKEUP? How can we inspire people to dream about making careers in these amazing jobs when we don't celebrate them on the public stage. DO WE REALLY NEED MORE PEOPLE TO BE INSPIRED TO BE ACTORS NO OFFENSE, AS ONE I CAN SAY THAT THOUGH! https://t.co/260PFGLY3d
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) February 12, 2019
The irony is, without cinematography, editing, and hairstyling and makeup, this Oscars cermony is going to be a live action short. https://t.co/raEj3n5sof
— Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) February 12, 2019
.@TheAcademy, we need to go the other way: demonstrations of the importance of editing, videos that show the difference between brilliant cinematography and its absence. And an award for STUNTS.
— Justine Bateman (@JustineBateman) February 12, 2019
This is OUTRAGEOUS. We are a community. Each part needs the other. Editors, DPs, hair and makeup artists are cinematic magicians. I want to see them being honored. #Oscars @TheAcademy https://t.co/BiCOpHvgUN
— Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) February 12, 2019
Cannot understand ABC's bloodlust to hack down the Oscars when they spend most Sundays showing America's Funniest Home Videos.
— Amy Nicholson (@TheAmyNicholson) February 12, 2019
For an awards do that is supposed to be by the industry, for the industry, the Academy sure doesn’t have a lot of respect for the crew who put in most of the work. https://t.co/ICsv8zKaAm
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) February 12, 2019
Even Monica Lewinsky commented:
the irony in that these categories actually play a crucial role to the oscars even being a live event/televised! https://t.co/Zjx9mD6FAx
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) February 12, 2019
And Andy Richter seems just about done with the Oscars at this point.
There has been a lot of drama around the Oscars, perhaps the biggest being Kevin Hart being named host, then stepping down after past homophobic jokes he made resurfaced. The show will go without a host — the first time in 30 years, barring an eleventh-hour change.
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