UPDATE (2/15/19): Not only will no Disney nominees be affected by the Oscars’ broadcast changes but no other films will be either. That’s because, as Deadline reports, the Academy has reversed their previous decision and will now air the Editing, Cinematography, Makeup, and Live Action Short categories as part of the main broadcast. If you’re keeping score, this is the second time in recent months the organization has walked back a controversial announcement, having abruptly canceled plans for an “outstanding achievement in popular film” Oscar last year. Additionally, after being named host of this year’s ceremony, Kevin Hart ended up quitting the gig a few days later. The ceremony will go hostless when it airs next Sunday, February 24th.
There’s no bigger event in Hollywood than the Academy Awards, and no bigger honor in filmmaking than receiving your own Oscar statue. Unfortunately, as announced Monday afternoon, for four winners at this year’s ceremony, their live award announcements will occur off-screen during the ABC Network broadcast’s commercial breaks when it airs two Sundays from now.
These four categories: Editing, Cinematography, Makeup, and Live Action Short, may be considered by some as technical or of less interest than the major ones like Best Actor/Actress, Best Picture, and Best Director, but that does not make them any less important. As anyone involved with making movies will tell you, every member of a film’s crew contributes an integral part to the finished product.
While this decision was ostensibly made to shorten The Oscars’ runtime to three hours, Twitter user and Awards Watch founder Erik Anderson drew a somewhat alarming parallel between the choice of which four categories were cut from the broadcast to the nominations received by movies released by ABC’s parent company Disney:
ABC/Disney #Oscars nominations outside of the Top 8
Visual Effects – 3
Production Design – 2
Costume Design – 2
Score – 2
Song – 2
Sound Mixing – 1
Sound Editing – 1
Animated Short – 1
Documentary Short – 0
Editing – 0
Cinematography – 0
Makeup – 0
Live Action Short – 0
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) February 12, 2019
- ABC’s Oscar telecast will not include the live award presentations for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Live Action Short, which will occur during commercial breaks.
- The winners’ acceptance speeches will be aired later in the broadcast and on Oscar.com’s live stream.
- No films will be affected by the decision were released by Disney, the media conglomerate that also owns ABC Network.
What they’re saying:
- John Bailey, Academy President: “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. 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.”
Of course the Disney / ABC connection may be entirely coincidental, as Bailey claims this decision was made by the Academy, but the film community at large is not responding well to the overall decision or this suspiciously synergistic discovery.
— Variety (@Variety) February 12, 2019
It should be noted that the 4 categories relegated to commercial breaks contain neither "Black Panther", or "Mary Poppins Returns" noms.
Both films are Disney.
Disney owns ABC which televise the Oscars.
— Rhett Bartlett (@dialmformovies) February 12, 2019
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) February 12, 2019
Editing is filmmaking. Say it ain’t so, Oscars.
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 12, 2019
Guillermo del Toro on the Oscars controversy: "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.” https://t.co/JIsmBSAovm pic.twitter.com/y3ClDDMVK4
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) February 12, 2019
The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 24 on ABC.