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More than 40 high-profile cinematographers and directors including Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Roger Deakins have blasted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s decision to not televise four of the awards — including best cinematography, best editing, best hair & makeup, and best live action short — in an open letter to AMPAS president John Bailey.
The signers have urged the Academy to reverse the decision, saying, “The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.”
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The letter was released Wednesday, two days after the announcement that the four categories would not be broadcast live, but presented in a delayed and edited version during the televised Oscar ceremony on Feb. 24. AMPAS made the decision in order to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.
“Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission,” the letter said. “When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form.”
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Signers of the open letter include directors Damien Chazelle and Martin Scorsese and cinematographers Deakins, Janusz Kaminski, Emmanuel Lubezki, Reed Morano, Robert Richardson, Vittorio Storaro and John Toll. Richardson, Storaro and Lubezki are three-time Oscar winners, Toll and Kaminski have each won twice and Deakins has been nominated 14 times, winning once. Editors, art directors, and representatives from other fields also signed the...
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