A Tense Zoom Call. Then Shock and Anger as Industry Reacts to Oscar Category Cuts ↗

A week ago, Oscar nominees from branches including editing, sound, and makeup and hair […] were informed that their categories would not air live on the telecast […]

During a virtual town hall with the nominees from these categories, the Academy dropped that bombshell. I recall this being a potential action in 2019. Back then it was cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling. That idea was quickly nixed due to the rightful outrage it inspired.

Eight categories are set to be spurned come the night of this year’s show; the winners will be given their awards before the broadcast. They’ll be shown in edited clips sporadically throughout the night. Those slighted categories are:

  • Animated short
  • Documentary short
  • Film editing
  • Live-action short
  • Makeup and hairstyling
  • Original score
  • Production design
  • Sound

Instead of featuring better presenters, fewer time-fillers,1 nominating more diverse artists, having fewer commercials, and taking the ego of the organization down several notches, they’ve decided that the real problem is giving air time to too many non-sexy categories.

If the Academy, or ABC (or both for that matter), can’t understand how essential those categories are to the craft of filmmaking, then what are they even doing? Many of them are what made movies into the creative and financial force that they are today. How can the Oscars be considered the truest arbiter of quality in the industry when they keep trying to slight the artists that helped legitimize them in the first place?

I appreciated this opinion made by tv writer Chris Schleicher the first time this nonsense came up:

The Oscars get shit for being elitist but they are one of the only awards shows that televises winners in the craft categories. This decision is reprehensible. Shame on the Academy. Shame on ABC.

Still rings true today.

  1. I’m looking at you, endless musical numbers and montages. The only thing that should be pre-recorded for the broadcast is the In Memoriam segment. Otherwise, just get to the next award winner! ↩︎