Steven Spielberg has expressed his disappointment that the Motion Picture Academy has decided to cut the live presentation of eight Academy Awards from this year’s telecast.
“I feel very strongly that this is perhaps the most collaborative medium in the world. All of us make movies together, we become a family where one craft is just as indispensable as the next,” the director told Deadline.
The eight categories that are being excised from the broadcast are Production Design, Sound, Original Music Score, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Documentary Short, Live Action Short, and Animated short.
“I feel that at the Academy Awards there is no above the line, there is no below the line,” Spielberg adds. “All of us are on the same line bringing the best of us to tell the best stories we possibly can. And that means for me we should all have a seat at the supper table together live at 5.”
The ratings for the Oscars have steadily declined for years, and in a move typical of Academy cluelessness, the latest answer to goose viewers of the annual awards show is to… not present some of the awards while probably peppering in some bad comedy, musical numbers, and forgetting to add people to the “In Memoriam” collection. Instead, the Academy plans to release the names of winners in the aforementioned categories to social media before the ABC broadcast, which ironically will probably mean more people will be aware of the winners considering the decrease in Academy Award viewership. Nobody’s asking our opinion, but how about they just give out all the awards and let everyone who wins this monumental achievement just thank everyone they want to thank? It’s been years since we’ve had anything as stupid—but at least memorably stupid—as Rob Lowe singing with Snow White or 1974’s streaker.
Spielberg’s West Side Story is up for seven Oscars, including Best Director, as well as Production Design and Sound which are affected by the decision. These days, Spielberg serves on the Academy’s Board of Governors, but they have a long history of not paying attention to him going as far back as 1976 when he was snubbed for a Best Director nomination for Jaws.
The 94th Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 27.