A host of Hollywood filmmakers have signed a scathing open letter to the organisers of the Oscars over their decision to present four awards during a commercial break.
The decision to present the awards for cinematography, film editing, live action short and makeup and hairstyling during the breaks has prompted anger, with over 90 directors, cinematographers and filmmakers signing an open letter to publicly criticise the decision.
Signatories of the letter include Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Spike Jonze and Ang Lee. The change is described as “nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen professions.” The letter also pleads for the decision to be overturned before the ceremony on February 24.
The letter closes with a statement from Seth Rogan who concluded: “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.”
The Academy have since issued a statement blaming “inaccurate reporting and social media posts” for “a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members.” They added: “no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others.”
It’s not the first controversy to hit this year’s awards, with the ceremony deciding to go ahead without a host for the first time in 30 years after Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting duties amid homophobic tweets from the past.
ABC Entertainment, which airs the Academy Awards, said the ceremony will instead rely on a revolving bill of celebrities to present the ceremony’s prestigious accolades.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC president Karey Burke said the lack of a host would help with time constraints by keeping the ceremony to three hours.
“The main goal, which I’m told the Academy promised last year, is to keep the show to three hours,” said Burke.
“The producers decided to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours.”
The Oscars will take place on February 24 – with Roma, The Favourite and A Star Is Born all leading the race to awards glory.