Academy Awards Being Canceled For Having Too Many Categories?

By Dan Lawrence | 2 months ago

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This year’s Oscars will be a little different than most. In a nutshell, eight Academy Awards will be presented prior to the live telecast of the Oscars, and then the footage will be edited and packaged into the Oscars programming later on. The Hollywood Reporter has broken with a story that this decision is causing massive uproar across the Academy and is fuelling the fire for many detractors of the Oscars show.

The eight missing categories in question include documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short and sound. This is a sizeable chunk to be taken straight from the live broadcast. The reason behind it is being alluded to as a survival tactic of sorts for the Oscars broadcast. ABC broadcasts the Academy Awards ceremony and the deal with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is widely reported as a major part of the organization’s funding. What’s more, in the report from The Hollywood Reporter, it is suggested that ABC demanded 12 categories be pulled from the live telecast, or else the plug would be pulled on the show altogether.

Last year’s Oscars broadcast was somewhat of a ratings bomb, so it is no surprise that ABC has requested somewhat of a shakeup. However, perhaps trying to cut out a quarter of the awards from live broadcast could be considered beyond trimming the fat? Beyond extreme? This has certainly been voiced by members of the Academy Board of Governors, of which there are a staggering fifty-four members. Too many cooks perhaps? One such Governor who has voiced their concern was Laura Karpman, a Governor on the Music branch of the Academy who had this to say on the decision to pull categories-one of which is Original Score: “I am shocked that the officers of the Academy denied the Board of Governors the opportunity to vote and participate in the decision to exclude the music branch in the live broadcast. This is literally a wound in the heart of the music community. Thank you to the many members of the music branch who have spoken out. I hear you loud and clear. I stand with you.”

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Deadline broke news with more quotes of those displeased with the Academy’s decision. One such negative reaction came from Best Documentary Short nominee Ben Proudfoot who said: “This is not the answer.” Being in one of the aforementioned snubbed categories, it is no surprise that Proudfoot is not happy with the decision. However, it remains to be said that the awards haven’t been pulled from the show altogether. This is something that is highlighted by Ava DuVernay, with the Academy Governor stating that: “Respectfully, and I had no part in the decision, but the word ‘excluded’ is a powerful one for many-And as the music branch winners and nominees and speeches will be fully included in the broadcast, I think it’s important to call things by their right name so as not to minimize the meaning of true exclusion in these spaces.”

Perhaps DuVernay has a point. It goes without saying that something has to be done to improve Oscar’s ratings. There are plenty of categories to get through in the Academy Awards and the program in the past has tended to drag on. It may turn out for the best that this is the direction that the Oscars broadcast is heading . Time will tell whether the changes have a positive impact on the telecast’s ratings. This won’t be the last time that the Oscars has caused controversy, it certainly isn’t the first, La La Land anyone? The 94th Annual Oscars Celebration is on Sunday 27th March at 8pm ET/5pm PT. This edition of the awards will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes.