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Oscars 2019: Outrage over decision to present technical awards in commercial break

  • Published at 09:46 pm February 12th, 2019
Joanna Kulig in the Oscar-nominated Cold War
Joanna Kulig in the Oscar nominated 'Cold War' | Scroll.in

The speeches of the winners in these categories will be aired later in the telecast

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will present four Oscars – for Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action Short – during the commercial breaks of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony on February 24, reports Variety.   

The speeches of the winners in these categories will be aired later in the telecast. 

Academy President John Bailey announced the categories to be omitted from the telecast in an email to Academy members on Monday. Bailey said: “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.” 

The Academy had announced in 2018 that the telecast of the 2019 ceremony would be curtailed to three hours, following dipping television ratings (viewership for the 2018 ceremony reportedly hit an all-time low). 

The Academy had informed its members at the time that some of the 24 awards would be presented during commercial breaks. The Academy had also announced a “Best Popular Film” category, but its implementation was postponed after widespread criticism.

The Academy’s decision was widely criticized on Twitter, especially by filmmakers and journalists. Guillermo del Toro, who won Best Director and Best Picture last year for "The Shape of Water," pointed out that “cinematography and editing are at the heart of the craft."

This article was first published on Scroll. in, and is being republished under special arrangements