Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, Alfonso Cuaron, More Nominees Join Outcry Over Academy Decision

The protest now includes some of the very people who could find themselves at the podium as Oscar winners.
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From left: Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, Alfonso Cuaron

A growing number of this year's Oscar nominees, including Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, Alfonso Cuaron and Spike Lee, have now signed an open letter to the Academy and its awards producers asking them to reverse their decision to present four categories during commercial breaks with video of the presentations set to air later in the Feb. 24 broadcast on ABC.

They include acting nominees Cooper (also a nominated producer) for A Star Is Born; Close for The Wife, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity's Gate; and Emma Stone for The Favourite.

Four of this year's best director nominees have lent their names to the letter: BlacKkKlansman's Lee (also nominated as producer and writer; Cold War's PaweĊ‚ Pawlikowski; The Favourite's Yorgos Lanthimos (also nominated as producer); and Roma's Cuaron (also nominated as writer, producer and cinematographer).

Lee also told NBC's Today this week that he "hates" the decision to move categories to commercial breaks, adding, "as a director, without my cinematography, without my editor, without hair and makeup, there is no movie. Film is a collaborative art form and they are just doing them dirty."

Nominated cinematographers who names appear on the letter include Cuaron, Never Look Away's Caleb Deschanel and A Star Is Born's Matthew Libatique.

Others who have joined the effort include The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, nominated for adapted screenplay; editing nominees Vice's Hank Corwin and Bohemian Rhapsody's John Ottman; Dede Gardner, a best picture producer nominee for Vice; animated feature nominee Brad Bird, director of Incredibles 2; costume designer Sandy Powell, who is nominated for both The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns; and sound mixer Jose Antonio Garcia, nominated for Roma.

On Thursday, the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (Local 706) president Julie Socash released the following statement:

We know from some of our members, as talented artists and professionals, that they are disappointed by the Academy's decision to handle various awards in this fashion, even if on a rotational basis. As IATSE International president Matthew D. Loeb made clear in his statement, our members are "the core of any motion picture production." While we are looking forward to the Oscar telecast, our focus right now is on this Saturday night's Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Awards, where our members artistic contributions will be honored with the dignity our craft deserves.