Academy Reverses Decision, Will Air All Oscars Categories Live

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Cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling categories will now be presented live during the telecast.

Facing mounting pressure from its members, the Motion Picture Academy announced that it will present all 24 Oscar categories live during its Feb. 24 broadcast on ABC.

The Academy confirmed on Friday that all four of the categories that were to be presented during commercial breaks, followed by taped replays later in the show, will instead be presented live during the Oscars telecast. The initial decision was made to address pressure to shorten the show, which last year ran 3 hours and 53 minutes.

The Academy’s brief statement rolling back the earlier decision said that it “has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards — Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling.” The statement continued: “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”

American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum wrote a letter to the Academy, thanking it “with great pride and respect,” while saying “it was clear to us from the outset that the original decision was difficult, making your current direction that much more brave.” He added that ASC looks forward to working closely with the Academy. (The full text of the letter is below.)

The Academy had decided to adopt the new format in an effort to shorten the length of the show. According to the Academy, the branches representing the four announced categories had volunteered to to take part in the new format this year. The plan called for a rotation each year, so that at least four different categories would be presented under the format in 2020

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