After a truly wild week of social media uproar and industry backlash from actors, directors and editors, cinematographers and makeup & hairstylists guilds, the Academy and Oscars producers have relented. All 24 categories will be presented in the live Oscars broadcast.
This decision breaks from Academy protocol that would have required the 54-member board of governors to convene and vote to make this change back. But, a late Thursday meeting with AMPAS president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson brought that turnaround.
The official Academy response is as follows:
“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 officers of the Academy’s board of governors said. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
This will reverse their decision to move those four Oscar categories to commercial breaks and edit them into the show later. This was ostensibly to cut time (which only would count for about four minutes) in an attempt to keep the telecast at a strict three hours. The Academy compromise was that the four categories were planning on being aired in real time on an Academy Awards live-stream online, a first for the Oscars. ABC, who is presenting the Oscars (and is owned by Disney), has a sneak preview of a new series, Whiskey Cavalier, planned for after the show. That would be start time of no sooner than 11pm EST on a Sunday night.
Bailey and the Oscar show producers, Glenn Weiss and Donna Gigliotti, had been under fire for more poor Oscar decisions in a single year than in any recent memory. Beginning in August with the announcement of a ‘Popular Film’ Oscar category that was to be implemented this year that had to be walked back, to the hiring of Kevin Hart as the show’s host, who subsequently quit after refusing to properly address and apologize for homophobic comments, to announcing only two Best Original Songs would be sung on the show (all five now will be) to the backtrack from today, it’s simply been one unavoidable mistake after another.
The 91st Academy Awards will air live, and in full, on February 24th, 2019 beginning at 5pm PST/8pm EST on ABC.