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With the 94th Academy Awards less than one week away, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees released a statement urging the Academy to reconsider its controversial decision not to present eight Oscar categories live during the March 27 broadcast.
“By the nature of our jobs, behind the scenes workers get little recognition as is, despite being the backbone of every production. The Academy Awards has been virtually the only venue where the very best on and off the big screen, above and below the line, gather to honor each other’s incredible contributions through their crafts, inspiring millions who tune into the TV broadcast in the process. We believe a deviation for some crafts and categories, but not others, is detrimental to this fundamental purpose,” said IATSE international president Matthew D. Loeb in a released statement.
The Academy currently plans to present film editing, makeup and hairstyling, production design, sound, and animated short — all disciplines represented by IATSE, it points out — as well as original score, documentary short and live-action short inside the Dolby Theatre in the hour before the live telecast commences. They will be recorded and edited into the subsequent live broadcast. The move follows record-low ratings for ABC’s 2021 Oscars telecast.
“While the Academy made accommodations to include these categories in the broadcast, our position remains that the awards should put all the positions that make pictures possible on equal footing,” Loeb’s statement continues. “If the winners walk away with the same trophy, then the winners deserve the same recognition. I urge the Academy to reconsider.”
Individual IATSE Locals including Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild) and Local 700 (Motion Picture Editors Guild) previously released statements voicing their disapproval of the Academy’s plan.
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