George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Christopher Nolan are among the actors and directors who have urged the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences to reverse their decision of presenting four categories of Oscars during commercial breaks.
Directors Michael Mann, Alejandro G Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro and actors such as Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Dinklage and Kerry Washington are also the signatories of the letter by the American Society of Cinematographers.
In its attempt to keep the live telecast under three hours, the Academy had decided to present four categories — cinematography, film editing, live action shorts and makeup and hairstyling — during commercial breaks with the winners’ speeches set to air later in the broadcast.
Academy president John Bailey, a cinematographer himself, in an email to the members had said the change would be on a rotation each year, meaning that at least four different categories would use this format in 2020 and that the four mentioned would be exempt.
After the open letter, the Academy assured the signatories 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 organisation said that the branches of the affected categories had volunteered to go first this year.
The letter is also backed by filmmakers as Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino among many others.