Late yesterday the Oscars announced they would cut 8 categories from the main show. All hell broke loose.
Following the lead of the Grammys, Tonys, and Emmys. the Oscars will have a non televised first extra hour during which they’ll give out 8 awards. Then during the three hour live telecast, they’ll weave in the acceptance speeches from those awards. The cut awards including Best Score, Film Editing, Make Up and Hairstyling, Production Design, Animated short, Live Action Short, and Documentary Short Films.
Last year, the Oscars had an hour long special before the main event that featured all the Best Songs. Everyone hated that, but it made the main show shorter. So this year presumably the songs are back, but these categories are getting swapped out. The reasoning is Would you rather see Beyonce, Billie Eilish and Reba McEntire, or Hans Zimmer and some people you don’t know?
The reaction has been swift and furious on social media. Nearly all the Twitter accounts from film reporters have denounced the idea. No one likes it, especially the people in those categories. But the Academy assured its members, in a letter, that all the speeches recorded during the first hour will be shown in full throughout the three hour broadcast.
The other news is that Best Picture will return to being the final award given. Last year, thinking the late Chadwick Boseman would win Best Actor and get a massive, emotional standing ovation, the Oscars put Best Picture second to last. That didn’t go well since Boseman lost to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who wasn’t even in attendance or on Zoom.
The bigger issue with the new plan is that all the news from the first hour will immediately be transmitted on social media. Why not put that first hour on YouTube or Disney Plus (for free), so the home audience can see it simultaneously? One of those solutions may still be implemented.
The idea is to make the show a little shorter and move it along with some pacing and rhythm. The next day vultures will circle the ratings news, ready to pick apart the low numbers and proclaim an “end” to the Oscars, awards shows overall, etc. This culture eats its own, not realizing that when everything has been destroyed, the media that covers it will be out of jobs.