Academy Awards stir controversy with decision to present technical awards during commercial breaks
Many didn't take the decision of the Academy to award the technical awards during commercials breaks, with even Gullermo del Toro decrying the move
While naming the next set of presenters for the 91st Oscars, the Academy also announced a rather controversial decision to present four technical awards, including Editing and Cinematography, during the commercial breaks.
The second list of presenters includes Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Key, KiKi Layne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy and Sarah Paulson.
Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron, Daniel Craig, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Whoopi Goldberg, Amandla Stenberg and Tessa Thompson were announced in the first list of presenters.
As reported by Deadline, the Academy also revealed that Best Cinematography, Live Action Short, Film Editing and Make-up and Hairstyling will be handed out while the commercials are going on.
Academy President John Bailey announced the decision in a letter to Academy members and said, "Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience."
"While still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars, four categories—Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling — will be presented during commercial breaks, with their winning speeches aired later in the broadcast," he continued.
"And, with the help of our partners at ABC, we also will stream these four award presentations online for our global fans to enjoy, live, along with our audience," Bailey said. "Fans will be able to watch on Oscar.com and on the Academy’s social channels. The live stream is a first for our show, and will help further awareness and promotion of these award categories," he added.
Bailey shared that the "executive committees" of the six branches had volunteered to have their awards presented during the commercial breaks and the Academy chose four.
However, this decision didn't play well with many, who took to social media platforms to express their reservations. Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro was one among them.
If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but - 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.— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) February 12, 2019