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Academy confirms 4 awards to be cut from broadcast

An Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
An Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

The film academy revealed the Oscar categories that will be presented during the commercial breaks of this year’s broadcast in an attempt to shorten the show to three hours.

The Oscars for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live-action short will be presented off-air at this year’s ceremony, an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokesperson said Monday.

The winning speeches will air later in the broadcast and can also be live-streamed on Oscar.com and the film academy’s social accounts.

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Film academy president John Bailey said in a note to members that the executive committees of six branches opted-in to this “slightly edited timeframe” and the board of governors chose four for this year.

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“We are committed to presenting a show which we all will be proud of,” Bailey said.

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Four to six rotating categories could be cut from the broadcast in future years.

The plan to hand out certain awards during commercials to achieve a three-hour runtime on Feb. 24 was announced in August as one of a few changes to combat declining ratings.

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But unlike the outstanding popular film Oscar category, which was walked back for further consideration after impassioned backlash, this one stuck.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its “popular” Oscar category “merits further study” and will not present the new category at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.

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The AMPAS stated that “while remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies,” it recognized that adding any new award nine months into the year “creates challenges for films that have already been released.”

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The board will be seeking input regarding the new category going forward.

“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”

The new category was announced in the beginning of August.

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Everyone from film critics to celebrities criticized the new category once it was announced.

“The film business passed away today with the announcement of the ‘popular’ film Oscar,” actor Rob Lowe wrote on Twitter. “It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.”

The Last Fall director Matthew A. Cherry said Black Panther would definitely win.

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The move to present the four awards during commercial breaks has been generally disliked by both nominees and many film fans on social media, some of whom have been tweeting with the hashtag #PresentAll24 for weeks.

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“This decision has nothing to do with any decision about cinema. It’s a broadcast thing decision. It’s about the show, the entertainment. But it should not be part of the discussion of what Academy Awards are about,” said Roma director and cinematographer Alfonso Cuaron at the Directors Guild Awards earlier this month. “The Academy Awards should be about celebrating the artists in the different categories.”

Curaon is the only nominee in a cut category who is up for other awards, including best director and best picture. Those will be presented during the broadcast.

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Vice director Adam McKay said earlier that he was “bummed” by the idea. He had heard whispers that makeup and hairstyling was going to be one of the unlucky categories, which he considered a particular blow for the people who transformed Christian Bale into Dick Cheney for his film.

“That crew worked so hard,” McKay said. Vice is also up for an editing award, which will be presented off air as well.

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Last week at the Nominees Luncheon, Bohemian Rhapsody editor John Ottman called the change insulting. His film ended up being in one of the cut categories as well.

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Bohemian Rhapsody sound mixer Paul Massey just worried that he wouldn’t know what to tell friends and family who wanted to watch the show to possibly see him win. Although he offered one suggestion to ensure a swift show: Seat the below-the-line nominees closer to the stage.

For some, it’s a long walk up to the podium and show producers have promised that everyone gets only 90 seconds from the time their name is called to get up and say your thanks before the orchestra starts playing.

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced its first slate of presenters, including Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg and Brie Larson.

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Also among the 13 stars are Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Amandla Stenberg and Awkwafina.

Chris Evans, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu will also take to the Oscar stage as presenters.

The last time the Oscars did not have a host was in 1989.

The Oscars will air live on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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— With files from the Associated Press

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