The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reportedly trying to quell controversy regarding the upcoming Oscars.
According to Variety, the board of governors has sent a letter to the Academy’s membership regarding four categories – cinematography, live action short, film editing, and makeup and hairstyling – being awarded during commercial breaks.
“As the Academy’s officers, we’d like to assure you 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 letter said. “Unfortunately, as the result of inaccurate reporting and social media posts, there has been a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members. We’d like to restate and explain the plans for presenting the awards, as endorsed by the Academy’s Board of Governors.”
The action came after a group of high profile filmmakers reportedly sent an open letter to the Academy’s president, John Bailey.
“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.”
According to the letter sent to the membership, all 24 Oscar categories will be presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre and included in the broadcast.
The letter also stated that the four categories “were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast. Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out.”
The Academy will in the future potentially select four to six categories for rotation, the letter stated.
The winners speeches from this year’s categories will be included in the broadcast.
“We sincerely believe you will be pleased with the show, and look forward to celebrating a great year in movies with all Academy members and with the rest of the world,” the letter to the members said.
The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC Sunday, February 24.