On Monday, the Academy revealed which categories would be relegated to the commercial breaks during the upcoming Oscar telecast: cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling. Now that it’s official, the backlash has immediately begun rolling in—not only from within the Academy’s ranks, but also from current nominees.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares
Alfonso Cuarón, the two-time Oscar winner who is nominated for several Oscars again this year for Roma, made his dissatisfaction known almost immediately. “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music,” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning. “No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
His friend and fellow Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro, who won best director last year and whose film The Shape of Water won best picture, also tweeted about the decision. He took a similar tack to Cuarón, noting how intrinsic cinematography and editing are to movies. “If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but – Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft,” he wrote. “They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”
Three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, a frequent Cuarón collaborator, also chimed in, sharing a screenshot of the report on Instagram and coupling it with this caption: “Cinematography and editing are probably the ‘elementary particles,’ the primordial components of cinema. It’s an unfortunate decision.”
An unnamed member of the Academy’s film-editing branch called the decision “a little demeaning to all of the categories that work on the movies” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. However, they noted, “they have to do something to shorten the show.”
This decision is just the latest unpopular choice made by the Academy as it pursues a shorter running time, higher ratings, and fresh tactics to draw new viewers to the Oscars. However, this decision has come at the risk of alienating not only past, present, and future nominees, but also devoted viewers who want to celebrate cinema in its totality. The decision also has an edge that is promoting conspiracy theories—as journalist and author Mark Harris pointed out , none of the categories relegated to commercial breaks feature Disney movies as nominees. Disney is the parent company of ABC, which is televising the Oscars and owns the broadcast rights for the ceremony through 2028 . It’s a glum state of affairs for the prestigious ceremony, which is clumsily grappling with mercurial viewing habits.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Venezuela
Academy President John Bailey —who is himself, ironically, a cinematographer—said the four categories would be streamed live online and on the Academy’s social channels, which is a minimal balm. In addition, according to T.H.R., some Academy members were shown a video proposal of what the new format would look like and it seemed respectful, all things considered.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Piloto
More Great Stories from Vanity Fair — The worst-kept secret of Trump’s presidency
— Is Silicon Valley suffocating the media? Jill Abramson weighs in
— Bernie Sanders’s plan to eat the rich
— The 25 most influential movie scenes of the past 25 years
— Broad City and the pivot to millennial rage
Looking for more? Sign up for our daily Hollywood newsletter and never miss a story.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
Full Screen Photos: 1 / 38 The Best Grammy Red Carpet Looks from 1974 to Today 1974 Cher Photo: by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. 1975 Bette Midler and Stevie Wonder Photo: by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1975 Dolly Parton Photo: by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1983 Grace Jones Photo: by Ron Galella/WireImage. 2017 Solange Photo: by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images. 2017 Beyoncé Photo: by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images. 2018 Cardi B Photo: by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images. Previous Next 1974 Cher by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. 1975 Bette Midler and Stevie Wonder by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1975 Dolly Parton by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1983 Grace Jones by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1983 Olivia Newton-John and Lionel Richie by Ron Galella/WireImage. 1984 Cyndi Lauper by Barry King/WireImage 1984 Michael Jackson by Ron Galella/WireImag 1988 Whitney Houston by Sonia Moskowitz/IMAGES/Getty Images. 1989 Sinéad O’Connor Ron Galella 1990 Aretha Franklin by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. 1992 Céline Dion by Robin Platzer/Images/Getty Images. 1994 Selena by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images. 1996 Mary J. Blige By Steve Granitz/WireImage. 1997 Gwen Stefani by KMazur/WireImage. 1998 Jada Pinkett Smith By Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage 1999 Madonna by Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage. 2000 Jennifer Lopez by Scott Gries/ImageDirect 2000 Britney Spears by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.. 2000 Sisqo By Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage. 2001 Destiny’s Child by Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage. 2001 Christina Aguilera by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage. 2002 Lil’ Kim By LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images. 2002 Alicia Keys by Steve Granitz/WireImage. 2006 Kanye West by SGranitz/WireImage. 2009 Katy Perry by Jeff Vespa/WireImage, 2009 M.I.A. by Michael Buckner/WireImage. 2009 Lady Gaga by Christopher Polk/Getty Images. 2011 Nicki Minaj by Steve Granitz/WireImage. 2011 Justin Bieber by Dan MacMedan/WireImage. 2012 Adele by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic. 2014 Pharrell by Larry Busacca/WireImage. 2015 Sia by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic. 2015 Rihanna by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic. 2016 Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift by John Shearer/WireImage. 2016 Janelle Monáe by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic. 2017 Solange by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images. 2017 Beyoncé by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images. 2018 Cardi B by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images..