The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a clarification after being hit with a protest over what was reported as a decision to move four award categories to commercial breaks at the upcoming 91st Oscars.
The reported move set off the latest in a series of controversies surrounding this year’s Academy Awards and prompted an open letter from high-profile filmmakers including Spike Lee, Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino to Academy President John Bailey protesting the decision.
Now CNN, Variety and other media outlets report that the Movie Academy’s Board of Governors sent a letter to the membership to reassure them about how the four categories — cinematography, live action short, film editing, and makeup and hairstyling — will be handled during the ceremony.
“As the Academy’s officers, we’d like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others,” the letter says. “Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors.”
The letter goes on to state that all 24 Oscar categories will be presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre and will be included in the broadcast.
The letter adds that the four categories “were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast. Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out.”
The winners’ speeches from all categories will be included in the broadcast, according to the academy. The ceremony will air Feb. 24 on ABC.