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Clooney, Pitt among Hollywood actors yelling 'cut' over Oscar award changes

  • Published at 11:48 pm February 15th, 2019
George Clooney
Actor, executive producer, and director George Clooney speaks on a panel for the Hulu series Catch-22, during the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Reuters

Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone and Jon Hamm also added their names to an open letter signed by directors Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Alfonso Cuaron demanding the decision be reversed

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Robert de Niro on Thursday joined a growing protest in Hollywood over plans by Oscars organizers to present cinematography, editing and some other awards during commercial breaks at next week’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone and Jon Hamm also added their names to an open letter signed by directors Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Alfonso Cuaron demanding the decision be reversed.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced earlier this week that the Oscars for best cinematography, film editing, short films and makeup/hairstyling would be presented during the commercials in the February 24 telecast. 

The plan is part of an effort to make the Oscar telecast shorter and boost television viewership. But the open letter, signed by more than 50 directors, actors and filmmakers, accused the academy of “relegating these essential crafts to lesser status” and insulting the professionals who work in the four areas.

The academy on Wednesday defended the changes, blaming “inaccurate reporting and social media posts” that it said had “understandably upset many Academy members.”

In a letter to its 8,000 members, the academy said representatives of the four branches affected had volunteered to take part in the new plan.

The changes were also attacked on Twitter by the likes of Cuaron, who is Oscar-nominated for both cinematography and directing his best-picture contender, “Roma.”

“In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing,” the Mexican filmmaker tweeted.

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