For the third time this year, the Academy Awards is facing another major controversy. In order to bring the ABC live broadcast under three hours, the Academy has decided to cut four awards from the broadcast and instead have the Oscars handed out during commercial breaks. According to Variety, “Academy president John Bailey informed the membership of the plans in a letter emailed on Monday [February 11].” The letter confirmed The Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling would be the Oscars cut from the ABC broadcast.

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In the letter, Bailey also confirms that which categories will be left out in future broadcasts may be rotated and the number of awards left out could grow as high as six.

The categories cut

Cinematography pertains to many aspects of filmmaking, but one of its most important focuses is lighting. How to light a scene is an extremely important decision to be made when filming and is often something that goes unnoticed by many. Last year after having been nominated thirteen different times for the category, Roger Deakins finally won the Award for Best Cinematography. I can’t imagine what his disappointment would have been after all that hard work to have his award handed out during a commercial break.

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Film Editing is also extremely important as it puts all the raw footage compiled and shapes it into a watchable product.

Like cinematography, it is an essential part of making a film. Unlike feature films, live-action shorts aren’t very often released in theaters and almost never have anywhere near the marketing, so being nominated for an Oscar is one of best ways these great short works receive attention. For some people, the Oscars are the first place many people hear about these films and to take that avenue of exposure away from them will certainly hurt their chances of being seen by wider audiences.

Makeup and Hairstyling suffer probably worst of all, as it’s already two categories that don’t really have much to do each other combined into one and now on top of that, they don’t get to air live either.

The backlash

As can be imagined, this decision was not well met among many filmmakers, actors, and fans of the Oscars and quite a few went to Twitter to air their gripes. This list includes actors Josh Gad, Russell Crowe, and Seth Rogen, editor Katie Hasty, journalist Mark Harris, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, directors Alfonso Cuaron and Reed Morano, and others.

This is not the first time this year that The Academy has been met with criticism as according to Huffington Post, “The academy has caught flak for a number of other ideas it had this year. It’s forgoing a host for the first time in 30 years, several of the musical acts reportedly may be cut from the telecast and it axed the not-so-popular 'popular movie' category it had planned to introduce this year.”

The Popular Film Category was eventually abandoned as many saw it as just pandering by the Academy to bring in more viewers by nominating films that normally wouldn’t be nominated for awards, but did well at the box office.

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Kevin Hart, on the other hand, came into hot water after a series of homophobic tweets were discovered to have been made by him. Hart refused to apologize and instead stepped down from being the host. Since his stepping down, The Academy decided to not replace Hart and will instead have a host-less Oscars this year.

Regardless of the controversy, the 91st Academy Awards will still air on February 24 and take place in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California.

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The Oscars will air on ABC with the Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling handed out during commercial breaks. For those wanting to see the cut categories be awarded, they will be able to be watched live as they are streamed on Oscars.com. I am sharing another Blaster's ranking of the nominees for the Academy Awards Best Picture category.

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