Washington: Following a Thursday night meeting with top cinematographers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed its controversial decision to hand out four Oscars during the telecast’s commercial breaks.
Academy leadership including president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson have pledged to air every awards category on the live show a week from Sunday, reported Variety.
An Academy statement said, “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. All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
The Academy had earlier stood firm for days against backlash from filmmakers across the four categories and their peers. Open letters from a number of celebrities speaking against the move, saying it is both reductive and insulting proved too much to handle.
The Oscars will now run over three hours as a result, the source added, which upends a leading Academy goal of trimming the show to 180 minutes.
However, this is not the first controversy to plague Academy this year. There was a prolonged and ugly process of hiring and firing comedian Kevin Hart as a host and the Academy had also floated and then cancelled plans to introduce a popular film category, and abandoned a move to prevent some best song nominees from performing during the telecast.