Editors Guild slams Oscars plan to start live show category

The Motion Picture Editors Guild has denounced Tuesday’s decision by the Film Academy that places the Best Film Editing category among the eight that will enter a pre-recorded and edited portion of this year’s Oscars telecast.

“We understand the Academy’s desire to make a more compelling show, but this decision makes the ‘invisible art’ of editing even less visible,” MPEG President Alan Heim said in a statement Wednesday. “The Oscars should be a night to celebrate all the hard work and artistry that combine to bring stories to life on screen, and we believe the deserving craftsmen have more than earned their time in the spotlight.”

This year’s Oscars will present the awards for Film Editing, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Design, Makeup and Hair, and the three short film categories at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood one hour before the start of the ceremony live and will be “transparently folded”. in the live show, according to the Academy.

“When deciding how to produce the Oscars, we recognize that it is a live television show and we must prioritize television audiences to increase viewer engagement and keep the show vital. , kinetic and relevant,” read a letter from Academy President David Rubin to members. . “It was a big talking point for a while. We do this while remembering the importance of giving our candidates a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Oscar winner Youn Yuh-Jung

But the move drew backlash from several of the affected Academy branches and their respective guilds, as had happened in 2018 when a similar plan was to hand out rewards during commercial breaks and then to show abbreviated versions of the acceptance speeches. Along with the Motion Picture Editors Guild, leaders of American Cinema Editors and Motion Picture Sound Editors also spoke out against the changes.

This year’s Oscars telecast is produced by Will Packer and aims to use the airtime saved by the category change to add more music and comedy segments to the three-hour awards show, which will be hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes on March 27. The Academy and ABC are hoping for a rebound in ratings after last year’s ceremony, held at Union Station amid the ongoing pandemic, was the least-watched Oscars in history.