It’s been a rough year for the Academy Awards, from their disastrous attempts to lock down a host (and then going with none) to the controversies that have plagued Best Picture nominees Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. So here’s one thing that will make you either happy or hopping mad: As per The Hollywood Reporter, Academy president John Bailey announced that four of the night’s categories won’t make it to air. Instead they’ll be handed out during commercial/bathroom breaks.
The idea of banishing some of the night’s 24 awards to the off-air dregs was floated back in August, partially in an attempt to shorten the always infamously long broadcast. In an email to the group membership, Bailey made it officially official, specifying which awards would be downgraded: cinematography, film editing, live action short, and make-up and hairstyling.
Bailey — who, incidentally, is an acclaimed cinematographer who’s lensed American Gigolo, Swimming to Cambodia, Groundhog Day, In the Line of Fire, and Must Love Dogs, and who has never been nominated for an Oscar — wrote that the thinned-out broadcast will “still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars.” He also pointed out that the acceptance speeches themselves would air later in the broadcast.
Bailey also pointed out that they will air the gutted presentations online, on the Oscars’ site and their social channels.
In late January, the Academy toyed with cutting down the individual performances of the five Best Original Song nominees. That idea was successfully shot down.
Bailey explained the reasoning for bumping some — but not all — of the technical awards to off-air time, though he never mentioned the show’s often lackluster ratings. “Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience,” he wrote. “This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago—and it is the same today.”
Anyway, maybe this broadcast will be the one that brings streaking back to the Oscars.