Heavy names like James Cameron, Guillermo del Toro and Steven Spielberg are demanding that the Academy withdraw a controversial decision.
New year, new controversies around the Oscars - and what the TV broadcast should look like.
This week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - which has awarded Oscars since 1929 - decided to cut eight of the award categories for a tighter and shorter program. According to the Academy's decision, the Oscars for, among other things, the best clips and music will be awarded before the TV broadcast, and then cut into the program.
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But such decisions are not made without Hollywood reacting, and now several of the film industry's heaviest names have put together a letter to the Academy's chairman in which they ask him to step up immediate action.
"For almost a century, the Academy Awards have represented a golden standard in how to pay attention to and honor all the professions of filmmaking. As we now approach the 100th anniversary of the Oscars, we are deeply concerned that this golden standard is being tarnished by certain professions. , it says in the letter at Variety.
"Seeking new audiences and making the TV show more entertaining is an important goal, but it can not happen at the expense of all the crafts that make film art worthy of praise."
The letter is signed by filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron, Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, composers Howard Shore and Hildur Guðnadóttir with about 70 other filmmakers.
Earlier this week, Steven Spielberg criticized the Oscars' new changes. In an interview with Deadline, he says:
- I do not agree with the decision. I strongly feel that film is a medium that is created together, we all become a family where every profession and craft is equally important. At the Oscars, there is no one who is nicer than anyone else. Everyone deserves a place at the table, at the same time and live.
- What would "The Shark" be without John Williams' music ?, adds the director whose "West Side Story" is nominated for 7 Oscars.
The academy continues to claim that all winners will be presented during the Oscars, and that their speeches of thanks will be cut into the three-hour broadcast (in other words, just as the Golden Bug Gala has done for many years). But it's not good enough for Hollywood's giants - and the question now is whether the Oscars' producers can change their minds.