The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, has reversed its decision to not air four of its award categories live after receiving copious amounts of backlash. The awards show had previously decided to cut the awards being broadcast in order to save time, according to USA Today.
Russell Crowe, upon first hearing the news, took to Twitter to show his disapproval, calling it “a fundamentally stupid decision.”
In an open letter from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) described John Bailey, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, announcing that this year’s Oscars presentations for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short and Makeup and Hairstyling Awards would not be broadcast live. The four awards would instead be presented during a commercial break in order to cut the shows time from four hours to three.
According to Insider, the award show received record-low ratings last year, hence the priority for a shorter telecast.
The ASC open letter continued, stating that, “since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission.”
Seth Rogen was also quoted in the letter saying, “what better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.”
Cinematographers, directors, actors and filmmakers all signed the letter. Some of the more recognizable names on the petition included Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Spike Lee and Joe Russo.
It can be assumed that the large amounts of backlash caused the Academy to reverse its previous decision. However, according to Insider, the Academy defended the decision and stated the controversy was fueled by “a chain of misinformation.”
This is not the only controversy surrounding the Academy Awards. Their planned host, Kevin Hart, stepped down from his position after homophobic tweets from years past resurfaced, according to Cosmopolitan Magazine. The star was given the option to apologize or step down. Hart refused to apologize and instead chose the latter. The actor stated, “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed [the homophobic tweets] several times.”
Despite the series of controversy, the Academy Awards will continue as scheduled. They will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time Sunday, Feb. 24.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.