Stunt Coordinators to Rally at Academy for Oscar Category Recognition

Mad Max Stunt - H 2016
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The protest is part of a 25-year effort.

Mad Max: Fury Road garnered 10 Oscar nominations this year, including one for best picture, but the stunt coordinators who made the movie’s action sequences possible aren’t feeling the love. As in the past, there’s no Academy Award category for them. 

The stunt community is not happy, and they’ll be rallying in front of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday afternoon in Beverly Hills.

Protesters plan to deliver an online petition, signed by over 45,000 people, to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

“For almost 90 years, the Film Academy has blatantly discriminated against stunt people and their contribution to the medium we all love and literally bleed for. There are no color lines or gender lines here. Stuntwomen and stuntmen of all walks are affected by the disregard of their significant contribution to the films we watch,”  Emmy-winning stunt coordinator Jeff Wolfe, president of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures, said in a statement. “After all, what would most movies be without the action?”

The stunt community has attempted to get the Academy to create a stunt coordinator Oscar for decades. In 2011, the Academy considered the request and turned it down. The stunt community renewed its request the following year, to no avail.

In contrast, the SAG Awards added stunt ensemble awards in 2008 for film and television. This year’s winners were the stunt performers and coordinators from Mad Max: Fury Road and Game of Thrones.

“From the initial stages of designing sequences, rehearsing the action, and filming the finished product that becomes the iconic movie, the action movie would not exist without the vision of a stunt coordinator,” said Jack Gill, rally organizer and veteran stunt coordinator (Fast 5, Furious 7 and the upcoming Fast 8). “After 25 years of fighting for this cause, it's time for the Academy to step up to the 21st century and create an Oscar category for the stunt coordinators who contribute such a large part to the filmmaking process.”

The Academy did not reply to a request for comment.