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This just in. The Academy has announced their plans for which awards aren't going to be shown live this year and it's not actually as bad as we thought it would be in that it is not as MANY as we though it would be. They're leaving four off the air: cinematography, editing, makeup, and live action short. Not being as bad as we thought, though, is NOT to say that it is any less horrific. The decision remains as tone deaf in its disrespectful, self-destructive, and against-the-point way as it always was. It's easily in the top two or three most terrible decisions that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has made in its entire 91 years.

Once you start demoting categories to "less important" you're sending a message to the world that the craft of filmmaking doesn't really matter; just look at the gowns and sit through the commercials which make us money...

Once you've devalued your own identity, you should expect to find less respect from the multitudes from that point forward. Once you've made yourself after the image of your inferiors (aka other awards show, none of which present all their awards live and ALL of which are less popular than the Oscars) you can expect lower ratings and less respect... akin to what they have!

Decisions matter. Actions have consequences. I don't think it's a coincidence that since the Honorary Oscars have gone off the air that Americans seem even less knowledgeable and interested in classic cinema than they were before. The Academy has lost the thread and forgotten the whole purpose of their mission which is to honor the movies and support the industry.

How to talk sense into them? One wants to grab them, shake them, and quote Raising Arizona at them.

That's your whole goddamn raison d'etre!

We should all be using the hashtag #PresentAll24 (created by Amanda Spears) to let the Academy know how we feel about this. It's gross and it cannot stand.

President John Bailey needs to go and the problem is slightly worse than we feared because more members of the Board of Governors need to go, too. In their press release about the bastard stepchild categories this season they reveal: 

The executive committee of six of the Academy's 17 branches volunteered to have their respective awards presented under the new system, and that the Academy selected four of them.

So obviously Cinematography, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action shorts need new executive committee members. Surely some of them reasoned internally that they were "taking one for the team" but the team in this case is ABC, not the Oscars. The team is certainly not the movies or the Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of it all! We are "Team Movies" first and foremost. Networks will come and go as will contracts to host the Oscars (we pray that AMPAS wises up and leaves ABC as soon as the contract is up) but the movies should not consider themselves so impermanent. 

Under the Academy's new foolish decision, whatever category is not present live on air will be guaranteed a spot on the next year's Broadcast but this, too, is unwise. You cannot game the system forever. This year we will likely be losing both of Vice's acceptance speeches (Makeup and Editing where it's arguably the frontrunner) one of Cuarón's (Cinematography) and a speech from a live action short director (who knows which) and on the surface that might not sound terrible. Who really passionately looooves Vice and will be hurt to not here Adam McKay thanked? And it would have been a weak part of the ceremony anyway to watch Cuarón give four or five separate speeches. But you cannot game the system forever (eventually we'll lose a historic moment or an entire ceremony highlight because of this) and whether or not these four categories would give us great moments this year is not the point. It's not the point at all. It's the principal of the thing. And it's what it says about the Oscars. And about the movies. And about the future. These are the problems. Not missing Editing this one year.

If The Academy doesn't course correct immediately, we feel confident in saying that there will be no creative categories on the air by 2024 or 2025. They'll be shunted off to another night just as they are at the Emmys (you know, that less successful show that Oscar really shouldn't be trying to emulate). 

To close here are four wonderful recent moments from those four categories that were broadcast live. Our favourite night of the year, that once-a-year eventful celebration would have been all the worse for losing these moments and others like them. 

Is anyone at the Academy listening? 

ROGER DEAKINS, Cinematography "Blade Runner 2049" TOM CROSS, Film Editing "Whiplash" RACHEL SHENTON, Live Action Short "The Silent Child" ROY HOLLAND, Makeup and Hairstyling "The Iron Lady"

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Reader Comments (74)

I'm watching Roger Deakins win right now and crying thinking of what the Oscars is destroying, depriving of us the privilege of watching four artists honored like this. I never thought there was anything that would make me not watch the Oscars, but if they become an awards show that only likes stars and hates all of the people who make the little corners of cinema so special, then why should I show up? I genuinely don't understand why I should watch the Oscars this year if they don't care about Cinematography or Makeup or Editing or Short Films.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

*Slow clap.*

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

ABC is, of course, Disney-owned, and none of those categories have Black Panther or Mary Poppins Returns nominated in them. Animated Short and Feature are also in the broadcast. Just an observation...

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Even more flummoxing, Bailey's wife was nominated for an Oscar... for editing E.T.! I really hope he loses re-election this summer. We deserve Laura Dern!

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I don't want to sound like there's any "lesser" category but honestly editing, cinematography and makeup/hair are actually really fucking important aspects of films in general (no offense live action shorts you deserve airtime too!) so this strikes me as beyond tone-deaf. I'm trying to figure out how anyone would think those three categories are somehow lesser than screenplay or music or directing or costumes or any other category really and it boggles the mind.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This decision is horrifying, For years, film scholars have argued that the Best Editing Oscar often foretells which film will be the Best Picture. Cinematography is the medium itself. That Board members volunteered to have their branches' awards presented during commercial breaks should be grounds for their removal.

This move is self-destructive. If the producers of the show would strictly manage the time that is filler material, they would be better able to bring the show in "on time". Think back to when Kimmel strayed to the cinema next door and dragged audience members to the Dolby. This was self-indulgence that should have been known in advance and instantly nixed. Or Ellen with the pizza schtick.

John Bailey has been an unmitigated disaster. How do the Board members not see this? He has presided over one embarrassment after another. Any CEO with this record would have been terminated long ago.

It is apparent that movie lovers regard the Academy Awards ceremony with more reverence than the industry does.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Ryan-Disney is literally nominated in every other non-Doc category (that was at risk of being cut):

VFX-Avengers, Christopher Robin, Solo
Costume-Black Panther, Mary Poppins
Production Design-Black Panther, Mary Poppins
Animated Short-Bao
Sound & Sound Editing-Black Panther
Song & Score-Mary Poppins
Animated Feature-Ralph, Incredibles

So mysteriously the "randomly" selected categories are the only four that Disney can't win. Pathetic kowtowing to a monopoly by the Academy. Move the Oscars to HBO!

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Cinematography!!!!!????? So they're saying the LOOK of film isn't even worth acknowledging to a worldwide audience! Unbelievable and so very wrong-headed.

The other three are equally deserving but if they start off this horrible trend by devaluing the very essence of what appears on screen they are really sinking their own ship.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

It's time for the Meryls, the Spielbergs and the Clooneys to speak up.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

People online are already saying "Let's cut all the shorts instead". No, no, no, no, no... you just don't get it, don't you?

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

For all the reasons stated above, this seems like a transparent tactic by Disney to flex its muscles in the wake of the Fox acquisition. I genuinely think, despite Bob Iger's reassurances, Fox Searchlight is going to be phased out in the next few years.

Disney is a plague on the industry, particularly now that they're essentially a monopoly.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTr

If youre gonna take anything off air, which you shouldn’t, I think the obvious choices are Doc and Shorts because they probably have the smallest group that actually cares about them. Theyre strange because theyre both not really eligible in any other category. And the Oscars seem to exist mostly for long form fictive features. Once again, I DONT THINK THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF LEMME MAKE THAT CLEAR ROFL, Im just saying if you were GONNA... no one hurt me please Im fragile.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

Yeah, this is even worse than giving Crash a Best Picture Oscar.

Okay, maybe just a *little* less worse.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Guys, if you want the show shorter, just pair the goddamn awards (excluding performances, directing and picture). That's literally all you have to do.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Does Disney/ABC have something on the Academy? Or is it just about money? The Academy needs money (sustainability, the museum, etc), so they'll play by Disney's demands. I assume most Academy members are upset about this.

In (my) ideal world the ceremony wouldn't have a time limit; would include every category (obviously); would bring out film legends (how great was Eva Marie Saint last year?!); and first and foremost, would celebrate film.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEllsworth

OK, I won't be watching the Oscars again. No presentation of the awards for Cinematography, Editing, Make-up, and Live Action Short Film.

Fuck you Oscars.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

They are fixing all the wrong things. Let's spam their comments.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterV.

I agree that pairing the awards (the way they ofrendó with the Sound categories) is a smart, effective and not offensive way to save time if that’s their concern.

I also think that if they were to take some categories off air, the three shorts are the best way to go. Im not saying they should, but those shorter features are so unaccessible (hard to find in the US, let alone in the rest of the world) that is hard to care about them.

All in all a pretty classless decision and if I see just ONE bad joke or sketch in the telecsst that was unworthy of air time Ill get really mad. They better not fuck up adding things that dont matter to the telecast.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Imagine if this happened last year, when Roger Deakins finally won an Oscar.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Pairing the awards is this and worse. Unless the argument is a technical one, that the awards shouldn't be split (which I don't agree witb at all), then that's ridiculous.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Me - Unless I'm mistaken, I think by "pairing," people mean presenting the awards back to back, moving through the list quicker, rather than lumping say, sound editing and mixing, into a single award.

SOOOOOO wrong! Shame on you Academy shame on you.....I've been watching since 1984 you are failing me and all the different boys and girls who didn't live in a big city but could dream by watching all these other different people being celebrated (ok I'm intense but it's true)

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Everyone is acting like they won't be showing those four categories at all. I thought the whole thing is those four will be given out during commercials and they will then show them later in the broadcast with the walking up to the stage and whatever else edited out. So if you are just casually watching the show and staying off social media you'll still pretty much have the same effect as if they were live.
And if you are on social media and live tweeting the show or whatever, they are going to show them online live as they happen so you'll still be able to watch them live if you want to.
Don't get me wrong, I wish they'd just air everything and have the show run long cause it's going to feel rushed the whole time and you know it's going to be 10 minutes away from three hours with like Actress and Picture left and they're going to have to super rush through Picture just to make their self imposed time limit.
But seriously EVERYONE is acting like they aren't airing the four categories at all and will just mention in passing who won and that's not whats happening.
Really, if you are one of the winners for these categories, you'll still have the same experience but you can relax a little and say whatever you want cause you know it isn't live. Hell, one of them should drop an F bomb during their speech and make them have to work harder at editing the segment.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

I like the idea from Justin. I need ALL the winners of these "commercial break" awards to go buck wild with their speeches. It's not live so they CAN say whatever they want. "Fuck yes! Thank you to the fucking Academy for this motherfucking award! Shit! I can't believe it!" Have fun bleeping those out for later, jerks!

Anyways, yeah this sucks a lot. And all of this to save time? I still don't understand this. Four hours of an awesomely produced show is better than two hours of mediocrity. They should spend more time in making sure the show is awesome rather than strictly limit the time.

Bailey is [BLEEPING] spineless.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Guillermo del Toro tweeted that editing and cinematography are exclusive to the medium of film and that it is a bad decision to not air them. He's last year's Best Director, so I hope this leads to more people speaking out.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

If they have to make a hard choice, I'd say pull out the awards for shorts. They're really their own category anyway. When we think of movies these days we don't usually think of shorts.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDan H.

People online are already saying "Let's cut all the shorts instead". No, no, no, no, no... you just don't get it, don't you?

The public has little to no access to them. At least with feature films you can rent them -- do people rent anything anymore with streaming?

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Whaaaaat? But why? There are A-series and B-series categories now?

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrown Cow Stunning

You can explain it with several sentences, line, but IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shame on the Academy!!!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

A lot of art house cinemas in North America and the UK do very successful screenings of the nominated shorts because the public who watches the Oscars are curious and want to see them. It provides great exposure to all those people who worked so hard on making a short for a not a very high budget. Now imagine if they are completely left out of the Oscar broadcast. Its a bad idea to relegated them. I think cutting them completely out of the broadcast is a terrible idea and sends a very bad signal for aspiring filmmakers.

Also, how much time are they saving this year without having a host, did they really need to cut out 4 televised awards.

I get Justin's point that the winner will be televised and I am of the mind set of 'let's wait and see' , I would like to see them call out all the nominees names and the entire winners speech , and if they only cut is 'the nominees walking to the stage' well I guess I will be ok with that., but not exactly happy!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

If they want to make The whole thing shorter, Just let Go of The pizzas, selfies, girl scouts cookies, taking movie stars to the theater next Door to Interact with the "unwashed masses", and tourists being brought to the Dolby to make a fool of themselves.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I don't know if it's the drama surrounding the ceremony, the crop of bad movies nominated or just that I'm getting older, but this is the first time in 20-plus years in which I'm actually considering watching the Oscars on replay the next day.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Thank you, NATHANIEL R, for saying what needs to be said and supporting what is right about the Oscars all throughout the season. Now we need to have the very famous people speak out.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDg

In the immortal words of Cate Blanchett presenting Stan Baker his final Oscar before retirement in the make up category: that’s gross.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

They should just cut all the schtick instead. No hosts. No performances. No montages (except the In Memoriam). Just present the awards and get on with it.

And if we must have a host, can we get Joanna Lumley? She did a great job for the BAFTAs. Super pleasant, classy, and kept it moving. And they kept her onstage so that she could just roll the show into the next award.

SIde note: Cinematography, Editing ... those are basically vital to filmmaking. Hmmmmm ...

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Rick Baker @Glenn Dunks

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

@CharlieG,no disrespect but are you serious abt Joanna Lumley? While she’s pleasant and all that, she seriously bombed at the Baftas the other night. To be fair, it was more the writers’ fault than hers but not a single joke in her opening monologue landed and it’s been widely tauted aa the worst hosting gig of the Baftas’ history!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Who cares about the Academy anyway, it clearly deserves to be upended just like the Nobel in Literature was, albeit for a different reason. Let's create our own award ceremony and make it nonsense-free.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Just another reason to skip watching the show this year. With no Oscar host, wouldn’t there less time for ‘jokes’ and More time for these 4 ‘inferior’ categories? There’s 3 nominees for Makeup/Hairstyling. How long would That take to present? Lately, that category was paired with Best Costume to get things moving. And as a film lover, it was always great to see previous winners in the Cinematigraphy/Editing categories. Guess if people are watching ‘movies’ on their iPhones, everything looks the same.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Crikey yes Lumley was not good at all. Let's hope Graham Norton does it next year.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

Showing these 4 ‘winners’ after the commercial break means nothing. The pleasure of sharing their victory will mean nothing. If it’s Disneys greed to cut all ‘non-Disney nominated categories,’ Academy voters should vote their disapproval for anything ‘anti-Disney.’
My TV will remain off that night and I’ll view the results in the morning. If ABC thinks only of ad revenue, they’re losing my ratings!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Jordan Horowitz, Alfonso Cuarón, Del Toro, Patty Jenkins, Jennifer Tilly, Riley Keough... they all have tweeted about it, but we need more people and angrier (most tweets are mild).

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Cinematography and editing are BIZARRE categories to leave off the broadcast.

Not to encourage them (or further pit categories against each other) but I don't understand why sound mixing, sound editing, animated short and documentary short are more critical to broadcast than editing and cinematography.

Those two can be major Best Picture bellwethers. They are probably the most central components to what moviemaking IS. So weird.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Editing and cinematography? They must be out of their minds!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthomas

Keep using your Social Media Platforms to get the message to them. #PresentAll24 This is still a democracy and we demand to see ALL of what the Movies offer!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Okay, I am Team #PresentAll24 all the way, but there does seem to be a couple of misconceptions about what is actually happening. Of course this is The Academy's fault too for being shit at communicating.

-First, I think Bailey's point in picking Cinematography/Editing as one of the first two awards to be left out is not to say they're unimportant but that ANY of the below-the-line awards can be picked for this even something as major/important to movies as Cinematography/Editing. Remember, it rotates every year and as far as I know any categories picked this year will CERTAINLY be aired lived the following year. Still dumb, but they weren't picked because The Academy thought Sound Editing/Mixing was more essential. Of course, I also believe in the Disney conspiracy idea so what do I know?

-Second, again as far as I can tell, they are still planning on showing us the reading of nominees and the announcement of the winner and the FULL speech of the winner. Apparently the editing will be mostly the walking up to the stage bit. This still sucks of course because a) it's still not live and b) some great moments happen in between! And this saves what? 4-6 minutes? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Maybe do one less "Pizza for everyone!" skit instead.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

The Lady Who Formerly Lunched;

Ma bad ;)

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

The ‘knows what works’ Academy will probably allow Oldman, McDormand, Jamey and Rockwell to present these four ‘minor’ categories...

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

CInematography is my favourite. Chivo has being posted on instagram his disdain as well along with Del Toro.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

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