Not long after it was leaked (intentionally?) that only two Original Songs would be performed at this year’s Oscars and encountered tons of backlash, the Academy did an about face and now Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) will be performing the song “I’ll Fight” from the Oscar-nominated documentary feature of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG, and written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren.
Just minutes after this announcement, The Academy came back saying that “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns will be performed at the Oscars and with a special guest.
UPDATE: Immediately after that another announcement came in, this time from Variety, that ALL five nominated songs will be performed. “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, “All the Stars” from Black Panther and “I’ll Fight’ will all be performed by their original singers but no word yet on who will be performing the other two nominated songs, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns and “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. The Academy reached out to reps that songs would need to be performed in shortened, 90-second versions.
Sources said that ‘nominees were talking among themselves last week and that some agreed that solidarity was important, and that a united front of “perform them all” or “perform none of them” might work as a tactic.’
Last week, Lin-Manuel Miranda actually took to Twitter to express his sadness over “Lost Things” originally not being included.
Miranda was an Oscar nominee for Original Song in 2017 for “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.
This is far from the first faux pax from the Academy this season. Last August they tried to float the idea of a so-called ‘Popular Film’ Oscar category but that idea got shelved after uproar from the film community on Twitter.
Then came the massive fallout over Oscars producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss choosing Kevin Hart to host the show only to suffer from a huge backlash over his homophobic past that resulted in Hart stepping down.
A current scheme is also to take 6-9 categories out of the regular show for time and moving them to the commercial breaks, with a plan to edit them into the show at a later point. With a press crew in the Oscar bullpen that means we’ll likely find out Oscar winners not while watching the show but via Twitter. No word yet on which categories or if/how this is actually happening.
The 91st Academy Awards will be broadcast live on February 24th at 5pm PST / 8pm EST on ABC.