“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” the Academy said in a statement Friday via Variety. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
The move to cut four categories from the telecast – the presentation of those categories would take place during the commercial break, with edited acceptance speeches to air during the telecast – was made in an effort to fit the host-less awards show within a three-hour running time.
However, the decision was roundly criticized by the film industry, including Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee and dozens more filmmakers, actors, cinematographers and producers who signed an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wednesday.
“When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form,” the open letter stated.
“The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.”
The decision to cut four categories was the latest controversy to hit the Oscars, following Kevin Hart’s exit as host after the resurfacing of homophobic tweets and the also-reversed move to only feature performances by a pair of Best Original Song nominees.