Academy Responds to Open Letter From Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Seth Rogen, and Others

The signees took issue with news that Academy was cutting four awards from the live broadcast.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Oscar Statues in this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

oscars drama

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to criticism they received from a long list of directors, cinematographers, and filmmakers that signed an open letter slamming the news that the awards for cinematography, editing, hair and makeup, and live action short would not be broadcast live. 

People like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Seth Rogen, Martin Scorsese, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Spike Jonze, Ang Lee, and others signed the open letter.

Shortly after the open letter began circulating, the Academy sent out a response.

"As the Academy’s officers, we’d like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others," the Academy said in a statement, perDeadline. "Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors."

The Academy went on to say:

"Four categories – Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action Short – were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast. Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out," they explained. "The four winning speeches will be included in the broadcast."

The Academy continued:  

In future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers. This year’s categories will be exempted in 2020.

The 91st Oscars will take place on Feb 24 at Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. This year's awards will be hostless. Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Tessa Thompson, Daniel Craig, and others will split presenting duties. 

You can read the open letter to the Academy below. 

An Open Letter to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and The Producers of the 91st Annual Academy Awards Broadcast:

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