The Academy recently announced that the awards for cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling will not be presented on live tv. The decision came as an attempt to counteract the show’s steady decline in viewership by shortening the ceremony. However, since this announcement, the Academy has been criticized by the public, Hollywood insiders, and Academy members themselves. Many of Hollywood’s most influential individuals and organizations reprimanded the Academy for devaluing the accolades of those whom are central to the art of cinema. After some notable controversy, the Academy has decided to reverse their decision.
Perhaps the most influential of these criticisms came from an open letter to the show producers, Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss. The letter called for the Academy to reverse their decision to eliminate the live presentations. The letter gained momentum and currently holds signatures from acclaimed artists, Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron, Spike Lee, Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close and Emma Stone.
The letter expresses the responsibility with the Academy Awards, “In exploring this issue we have all been reminded of an important distinction: The Academy Awards cannot become just be another televised celebrity showcase. Our prestigious Academy has a higher purpose and must stand apart from other organizations by equally recognizing the most outstanding artists and craftspeople in all categories.” The Academy is in the impossible position of trying to maintain the integrity of the most important awards in cinema, while also attempting to appeal to the needs of an increasingly disinterested audience. This tug-of-war between these diametrically opposed responsibilities has become a conspicuous nightmare for the acclaimed award show. From announcing (and then removing) a popular film category, to cutting parts of the ceremony, The Academy Awards have tried desperately to find a middle ground between these two responsibilities.
The 91st Academy Awards will present all 24 categories on live television. Tune into ABC on February 24th to watch the ceremony.