Academy Infighting Over Exclusion Of Key Categories From Live Telecast

Posted March 4, 2022 by with 5 comments

As I and everyone else with even a semi-functioning brain has already pointed out, removing live presentations of Best Original Score and Best Editing and six other categories from the Oscars telecast will do absolutely nothing to increase ratings (imagine being stupid enough to think that removing awards from your award show will make people who like award shows more inclined to watch!), but the clueless Academy is still proceeding with that plan. Thankfully, there’s now some serious infighting within the organization over the disrespectful exclusion, and while I doubt ratings-starved ABC will let the decision be reversed, at least people are speaking out. Ratings will be disastrous, the show will be disastrous, and I’d bet that the Oscars won’t even be televised 10 years from now. THR has an in-depth story on the drama, and here’s an excerpt:

On Tuesday, Laura Karpman, a governor of the music branch — which picks the nominees for best original song (which will still be presented live) and best original score (which will not) — posted this to social media: “I am shocked that the officers of the Academy denied the Board of Governors the opportunity to vote and participate in the decision to exclude the music branch in the live broadcast. This is literally a wound in the heart of the music community. Thank you to the many members of the music branch who have spoken out. I hear you loud and clear. I stand with you.”

Another governor of a branch that has lost a category from the live telecast, who wishes to remain nameless, says he was jarred when, over the summer, he received a call from [Academy President] Hudson explaining why significant changes to the format of the Oscars were necessary. This governor says that he was told that ABC had warned the Academy that it would cancel the Oscars telecast, via a clause in the Academy and ABC’s deal for the Oscars’ broadcasting rights, if 12 categories were not removed from the show. “We were told we’d have to sacrifice something or we were going to lose the whole show,” this governor recaps.

[M]any of the Academy’s rank-and-file members are anything but satisfied. Mitchell Block of the short films and feature animation branch wrote on Facebook, “The Academy’s lack of transparency to its governors, executive committees and members got them into this mess. Top-down leadership is good for Putin but not good for volunteer honorary organizations with a membership. We’re all in this together but that’s not how the management of our Academy works.”

[THR: Oscars: Academy Infighting Mounting Over Categories Controversy]

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