The 2019 Oscars is shaping up to be a truly spectacular train wreck. In addition to the fact that there’s no official host, it was reported that former major category winners would not be presenting to the new winners in favor of “bigger talent,” a move that was quickly fixed after actors like Allison Janney spoke out. And now Hollywood is pissed after the Academy announced that certain categories would be announced during commercial breaks in a move to make the show shorter and hopefully raise ratings.
The Huffington Post reports that the Academy says that the awards for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Live Action Short Film, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling will be given out during commercial breaks. And understandably, people who make movies aren’t happy with this move.
“They’re squeezing the one thing that you watch the show for,” director Steven Soderbergh told the HuffPost, “which is to see somebody’s fucking dream come true.” “I just have one line to say for that, and I want to be a little rude,” cinematographer Christian Berger said. “All those assholes forgot that film started with images.”
I can understand why a viewer would prefer not to see these categories televised; you might not know who’s even winning and the televised program is long enough. But it’s crucial to show audiences that the people who make movies aren’t just beautiful celebrities. Choosing to suddenly relegate certain categories to the commercials really pits the behind-the-scenes creators against the stars.
The Academy has a problem on their hands that almost all producers of live television have: people just don’t watch these broadcasts like they used to. But trying to slice off important categories isn’t going to help gain viewers.