Well, that didn’t take long. After just a few days of vocal controversy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed a controversial decision to announce winners of four select categories during the telecast’s commercial breaks as streaming-only content.
In hopes of shortening the length of the telecast, the Academy had planned to present four Oscar categories — cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts, and makeup and hairstyling — during commercial breaks. Pre-recorded speeches from the winners would then be aired later in the broadcast. At the end of an Oscar season which has already involved controversies regarding new categories and potential hosts, it’s merely the latest major hiccup for a 91st ceremony that can’t seem to catch a break.
The plan was heavily criticized by a number of prominent filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Spike Lee, who signed an open letter appealing the Academy to reverse course, citing the decision as disrespectful to the below-the-line work of crew members that contribute substantially to the filmmaking process. Many other past and current nominees denounced the new policy in the days following the initial announcement.
The Academy Awards will air live on ABC, for now with all 24 categories included in the telecast, on Sunday, February 24th.