The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Has No Idea What Cinema Is (Updated)

Update: The Academy has now back-tracked the below decision and awards for all categories will be given out live when the show airs on 24 February.

Here’s the official statement:

”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.”

A slew of talented and important names have signed a petition asking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to reconsider its monumentally ridiculous decision to cut the live awards for Cinematography, Editing, Makeup & Hair Styling and Live Action Shorts during its live broadcast of The Oscars on Sunday 24 February. 

The above awards will be handed out during the adverts on the television broadcast, in the hope that the show won’t run too long, They want to maximise viewing numbers by cutting the heart of the ceremony. This is cinematic sacrilege, a slap in the face to some of the most important awards in cinema – a move which shows the AMPAS has no idea what cinema actually is.

Below is the petition, along with a full list of its signatories. 

On Monday, February 11, 2019,  John Bailey, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, announced that this year’s Oscar presentations for Best Cinematography — along with Film Editing, Live Action Short and Makeup and Hairstyling — will not be broadcast live, but rather presented during a commercial break. This decision was made to reduce the length of the show from four hours to three. The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.

The Academy was founded in 1927 to recognize and uphold excellence in the cinematic arts, inspire imagination and help connect the world through the universal medium of motion pictures.

Unfortunately, we have drifted from this mission in our pursuit of presenting entertainment rather than in presenting a celebration of our art form and the people behind it.  

Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.     

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, has stated that he will determine what “emotionally resonant” moments from the four winners’ speeches will be selected to air later in the broadcast. The show will cut any additional comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees as they see fit.

We consider this abbreviation and potential censorship to run contrary to the spirit of the Academy’s mission. 

Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission.

When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form. 

To quote our colleague Seth Rogen, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.”

Signed,

Cinematographers

  • Thomas Ackerman
  • Javier Aguirresarobe
  • Fernando Argüelles
  • Paul Atkins
  • Gary Baum
  • Bojan Bazelli
  • Dion Beebe
  • Bill Bennett
  • Gabriel Beristain
  • Oliver Bokelberg
  • Russell Boyd
  • Natasha Braier
  • Vance Burberry
  • Antonio Calvache
  • Rodney Charters
  • Christopher Chomyn
  • James Chressanthis
  • T.C. Christensen
  • Jack Cooperman
  • Dean Cundey
  • David Darby
  • Roger Deakins
  • Frankie DeMarco
  • Peter Deming
  • Jim Denault
  • Caleb Deschanel
  • George Spiro Dibie
  • Billy Dickson
  • Mark Doering-Powell
  • Todd A. Dos Reis
  • Stuart Dryburgh
  • Bert Dunk
  • John Dykstra
  • Robert Elswit
  • John C. Flinn III
  • Mauro Fiore
  • Markus Förderer
  • Ron Fortunato
  • Greig Fraser
  • Jonathan Freeman
  • Alex Funke
  • Steve Gainer
  • Dana Gonzales
  • Nathaniel Goodman
  • David Greene
  • Alexander Gruszynski
  • David R. Hardberger
  • Gregg Heschong
  • Tom Houghton
  • Paul Hughen
  • Shane Hurlbut
  • Peter James
  • Johnny E. Jensen
  • Matthew Jensen
  • Tor Johansen
  • Shelly Johnson
  • Janusz Kaminski
  • Adam Kane
  • Stephen M. Katz
  • Darius Khondji
  • David Klein
  • Ellen Kuras
  • Joseph Labisi
  • Ed Lachman
  • Jacek Laskus
  • Patti Lee
  • Robert Legato
  • John Leonetti
  • Philippe Le Sourd
  • Peter Levy
  • Karl Walter Lindenlaub
  • Jimmy Lindsey
  • Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Glen Macpherson
  • Paul Maibaum
  • Constantine Makris
  • Denis Maloney
  • Anthony Dod Mantle
  • Clark Mathis
  • Michael McDonough
  • Erik Messerschmidt
  • Anastas Michos
  • Gregory Middleton
  • Charles Minsky
  • Seamus McGarvey
  • Robert Mclachlan
  • Suki Medencevic
  • Chris Menges
  • Dan Mindel
  • George Mooradian
  • Reed Morano
  • Polly Morgan
  • Rachel Morrison
  • Peter Moss
  • David Moxness
  • M. David Mullen
  • Guillermo Navarro
  • James Neihouse
  • Michael Negrin
  • John Newby
  • Sam Nicholson
  • Crescenzo Notarile
  • Jules O’Loughlin
  • Thomas Alger Olgeirsson
  • Phedon Papamichael
  • Andrij Parekh
  • Daniel Pearl
  • Dave Perkal
  • Wally Pfister
  • Rodrigo Prieto
  • Robert Primes
  • Frank Prinzi
  • Christopher Probst
  • Robert Richardson
  • Anthony B Richmond
  • Antonio Riestra
  • Pete Romano
  • Martin Ruhe
  • Paul Ryan
  • Alik Sakharov
  • Mikael Salomon
  • Linus Sandgren
  • Germano Saracco
  • Paul Sarossy
  • Tobias Schliessler
  • John Seale
  • Ben Seresin
  • Steven Shaw
  • Lawrence Sher
  • Newton Thomas Sigel
  • John Simmons
  • Vittorio Storaro
  • Gavin Struthers
  • Tim Suhrstedt
  • Attila Szalay
  • Mario Tosi
  • Salvatore Totino
  • Kristy Tully
  • Eric van Haren Noman
  • Hoyte van Hoytema
  • Kees van Oostrum
  • Theo Van De Sande
  • Checco Varese
  • Mark Vargo
  • Roy Wagner
  • Colin Watkinson
  • Michael Weaver
  • Mark H. Weingartner
  • Jo Willems
  • Kenneth Zunder

Directors

  • Darren Aronofsky
  • Brad Bird
  • Danny Boyle
  • Damien Chazelle
  • George Clooney
  • Joel Coen
  • Brady Corbet
  • Alfonso Cuaron
  • Guillermo del Toro
  • Steve Faigenbaum
  • Rick Famuyiwa
  • Rodrigo Garcia
  • Drew Goddard
  • James Gray
  • Luca Guadagnino
  • Sam Hargrave
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Spike Jonze
  • John Krasinski
  • Nicole Holofcener
  • Ron Howard
  • Karyn Kusama
  • Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Ang Lee
  • Spike Lee
  • Will Lovelace
  • Kevin Macdonald
  • Dennis Maguire
  • James Mangold
  • Michael Mann
  • Rob Marshall
  • Sam Mendes
  • Christopher McQuarrie
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Pawel Pawlikoski
  • Alexander Payne
  • Mark Pellington
  • Michael Polish
  • Sam Raimi
  • Jason Reitman
  • David O. Russell
  • Dee Rees
  • Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Seth Rogen
  • Joe Russo
  • Marjane Satrapi
  • Julian Schnabel
  • Martin Scorsese
  • M Night Shyamalan
  • Dylan Southern
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Fernando Trueba
  • Denis Villeneuve
  • Chris Weitz
  • Joss Whedon
  • Edgar Wright
  • Joe Wright

Actors

  • Kathy Baker
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Kate Bosworth
  • Zach Braff
  • Sterling K. Brown
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Rose Byrne
  • Bobby Cannavale
  • Max Casella
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Robert De Niro
  • Peter Dinklage
  • Ann Dowd
  • Clea Duvall
  • Elle Fanning
  • Paul Giamatti
  • Bill Hader
  • Michael C. Hall
  • Jon Hamm
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Catherine Keener
  • Barry Keoghan
  • Riley Keough
  • Jude Law
  • Virginia Madsen
  • Frances McDormand
  • Max Minghella
  • Rosamond Pike
  • Brad Pitt
  • Jason Segel
  • Chloe Sevigny
  • Tye Sheridan
  • Emma Stone
  • Jason Sudeikis
  • Ulrich Thomsen
  • Kerry Washington
  • Olivia Wilde

Filmmakers

  • Jacques Audiard
  • Collen Atwood
  • Kym Barrett
  • Thomas Barron
  • Alan Baumgarten
  • Alan Edward Bell
  • William Brent Bell
  • Erin Benach
  • Avril Beukes 
  • Consolata Boyle
  • Maryann Brandon
  • Alexandra Byrne
  • Eugenio Caballero
  • Milena Canonero
  • Hank Corwin
  • Scott Dale
  • Sophie De Rakoff
  • Chris Dickens
  • Matthew Duclos
  • Bob Ducsay
  • Mark L Duncan
  • Seth Emmons
  • Louie Escobar
  • Lou Eyrich
  • Dante Ferretti
  • Eric Fletcher
  • Glenn Fremantle
  • Jose Antonio Garcia
  • Dana Glauberman
  • William Goldenberg
  • Affonso Goncalves
  • Adam Gough
  • Jon Gregory
  • Clay Griffith
  • David Gropman
  • Mark Helfrich
  • Dorian Harris
  • Michael Hatzer
  • Rick Heinrichs
  • David Heyman
  • Amy Hobby
  • Frieder Hochheim
  • Jay Holben
  • Nichole Huenergardt
  • Rob Hummel
  • Chris Innis
  • Alan Ipakchian
  • Joanna Johnston
  • Frank Kay
  • Debbie Kennard
  • Douglas Kirkland
  • Jon Kilik
  • Anne Kuljian
  • Michael Legato
  • Devin Mann
  • Michael Mansouri
  • Mary Jo Markey
  • Joi McMillon
  • Ellen Mirojnick
  • Stephen Mirrione
  • Bob Murawski
  • Jeffrey A. Okun
  • John Ottman
  • Ellen Page
  • Michael Pizzuto
  • Sandy Powell
  • Fred Raskin
  • Tatiana S. Riegel
  • Amy Robinson
  • Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
  • Mayes Rubeo
  • Nat Sanders
  • Pietro Scalia
  • Steve Schklair
  • Ellen H. Schwartz
  • Alexander Schwarz
  • Steven J. Scott
  • Anna B. Sheppard
  • Terilyn A. Shropshire
  • Lee Smith
  • Joan Sobel
  • Stefan Sonnenfeld
  • D. Brian Spruill
  • Mick Strawn
  • Juli Silver Taracido
  • Matthew Tomlinson
  • Michael Tronick
  • Plummy Tucker
  • Mark Ulano
  • Martin Walsh
  • Gary Wattson
  • Billy Weber
  • Julie Weiss
  • Hughes Winborne
  • Janty Yates
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