Dozens of filmmakers who’ve tasted Oscars success, such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Damien Chazelle and others, have slammed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their decision to exclude certain categories from the live Oscars telecast.
Seeing the decision as being disrespectful to four categories singled out for exclusion – cinematography, editing, makeup and hairstyle and live action short – the filmmakers wrote an open letter criticising the Academy’s decision. Filmmakers such as 2018 Best Director winner Guillermo del Toro and 2019 nominee Alfonso Cuaron had previously tweeted their disapproval of the new regulations.
The Academy in its response said that there had been a misunderstanding, and that the winners will still be a part of the telecast – just not live. “As the Academy’s officers, we’d like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others,” the Academy’s statement read. “Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors.”
Forty filmmakers co-signed the open letter, which read, “Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.”
The Oscars will air on Monday, February 25, in India. Cuaron’s semi-autobiographical Netflix film, Roma, and the period black comedy The Favourite lead the nominations.