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Acedemy faces backlash for decision to present 8 awards offline

Earlier, the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' had decided to present eight awards off-air to make the broadcast crisp and streamlined. But apparently, the move has caused outrage among the nominees across eight categories.

The original score, make-up and hairstyling, documentary short, film editing, production design, animated short, live-action short and sound will be awarded before the start of the upcoming March 27 show, edited for time and broadcast sporadically throughout the evening, according to 'Variety'.

Before the decision was made public, a 'Zoom' call was convened to lend a personal touch to the news and show respect for their nominees. Present on the call was Shawn Finnie, executive vice president of membership and awards; Christine Simmons, AMPAS chief operating officer; Jennifer Todd, governor of the producers' branch and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, who joined the call after it began.

A source told 'Variety' that several individuals on the call tried to offer alternative ways to streamline the show, but their suggestions were not considered. They were informed that the decision was final.

The source, as quoted by 'Variety', said: "To relegate us in this way, it is so disrespectful. It sends a strong message about prioritising branches and specific filmmakers within the Academy."

One notable producer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "I think there would be other ways where the Academy could still present these awards live and quicken the pace of the show overall. This specific choice feels a bit lacking in creativity."

Meanwhile, the 'American Cinema Editors' were the only guild to publicly decry the decision as they said in a statement accessed by 'Variety', "We are deeply disappointed by the Academy's decision to alter the way certain categories, including film editing, will be presented in the Oscars telecast. It sends a message that some creative disciplines are more vital than others. Nothing could be further from the truth and all who make movies know this."

The statement further read, "As a group of artists wholly dedicated to advancing the art and prestige of film editing, we passionately believe that editing - and all other creative disciplines

that are part of the collaborative art of filmmaking - should be treated equally. Our contributions to that collaboration may sometimes appear

invisible but they are undeniable."

The guild ended the statement on a hopeful note, "We hope that film editors and other artists affected by this change will be honoured and celebrated with the passion, dignity and inclusion they deserve."

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