Now, Steven Soderbergh is shedding some light on the decision-making process that led to ending the show with Best Actor instead of the more traditional Best Picture.
Soderbergh caught up with the Los Angeles Times this week, where he revealed that the decision to change the order of the awards was made all the way back in January, before the nominations were even announced.
“It’s our belief — that I think is not unfounded — that actors’ speeches tend to be more dramatic than producers’ speeches,” Soderbergh said. “And so we thought it might be fun to mix it up, especially if people didn’t know that was coming. So that was always part of the plan.”
Soderbergh explained that once the noms rolled in and Boseman became a potential winner, they decided there would be “nowhere to go” in the show after that moment if his “widow were to speak on his behalf.”
“I said if there was even the sliver of a chance that he would win and that his widow would speak, then we were operating under the fact that was the end of the show,” Soderbergh said. “So it wasn’t like we assumed it would, but if there was even a possibility that it would happen, then you have to account for that. That would have been such a shattering moment, that to come back after that would have been just impossible.”
While Boseman’s loss definitely stung, his film , Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom ended up taking home Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hair Styling, making some history in the process, as Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win the award in that category.