Insiders: Andrew Garfield Rewrote Batkid Oscars Speech, Thought Segment Was Exploitative

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Getty Images

The canceled appearance by the “Spider-Man” star and five-year-old Miles Scott was indeed fraught with drama

“Spider-Man” star Andrew Garfield‘s unease with the script for a planned Oscars segment with “Batkid” Miles Scott largely led to the cancellation of the appearance altogether, a person who observed rehearsal tells TheWrap.

During Sunday night’s telecast, Garfield was supposed to make a special presentation with Scott, a five-year-old cancer patient who earned the nickname Batkid after the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco granted him an elaborate day of superhero role-playing in November. However, two sources who were present during rehearsals say Garfield showed up with a re-written version of the speech he’d been given, complaining that the original was exploitative.

The show’s producers then requested that he revert back to the original text, a request to which the actor did not immediately respond.

Also read: Andrew Garfield, Batkid Went to Disneyland After Oscars Snub

Sony intervened to keep its “Spider-Man” promotion on the show — and Garfield acquiesced to use the original script at the last minute — but the Academy and the producers decided to cut both the actor and the young child from the show, replacing them with a simple speech given by “Captain America” star Chris Evans.

According to TheWrap’s insider, Sony was unhappy that they were losing the opportunity to promote their summer tentpole, prompting calls to the Academy about the scrapped segment.

Sony did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Earlier on Thursday, the Academy released a statement saying that the segment was cut in deference to the show’s long running time, but additional accounts from Oscar rehearsals suggest that Garfield’s reluctance to do the segment as written did have significant impact on the decision to kill the segment.

Also read: Ben Affleck on Batkid: He Is the ‘Best Batman Ever’

Garfield and Scott visited Disneyland together on Monday, according to both the Academy and a follow-up report by TMZ.

Later, in a statement to E!, Garfield corroborated the Academy’s version of events:

“In full collaboration with the Academy and the show writer, Andrew prepared a segment for the Oscars to honor Miles Scott as the true hero that he is. At some point overnight on Saturday/Sunday morning, it was decided by those running the show that the segment didn’t work in the ceremony. They decided to pull it–Andrew and Miles were equally upset. The producers arranges for Miles and his family to visit Disneyland on Monday and Andrew drove down to visit them and to bring Miles a personal gift. Andrew did the right thing for Batkid and anyone saying otherwise is flat out lying.”

  • Mike

    So if they replaced Garfield with Evans, why not have had Evans do the presentation?

    • Briana W

      Exactly. Garfield could’ve easily been replaced. It’s not like there was a room of 500 actors in it, 99% of them willing to do anything to get on stage.

      That’s why I don’t fully trust these “he said she said” stories. Just because you observed a rehearsal doesn’t mean you know everything that’s really going on behind the scenes, You’re just guessing and giving your interpretation of what you think may have happened which doesn’t make it 100% true.

  • Jennifer

    When I first heard of the segment, I was kinda iffy on it too and thought the Oscars were just using Batkid and exploiting his popularity. So, basically Andrew had some concerns over the script, but in the end, reluctantly agreed to do it but the producers nixed the idea at the last minute and had Chris Evans give a simple speech and introduce a general montage. That shows that the producers were also somewhat concerned with the script and didn’t know how to fix it. If they were 100% confident in what they wrote, they simply would’ve told Chris Evans to just read the same old script and introduce Batkid.

  • Jennifer

    I can’t fault Garfield here, he was looking out for the kid. He wasn’t trying to change the script to massage his ego or anything like that. TMZ has a pic of Garfield & Batkid (presumably on Sunday) in their hotel room together, dressed up in tuxes having a mini oscar ceremony together. Batkid looks fine, hardly devastated like Page Six reports. Garfield also accompanied the Batkid and his family to Disneyland the next day, which I thought was pretty cool. If I was 5 yrs old, I’d pick Disneyland w/ Spider-man over the Oscars in a second. I think we’re turning this into a bigger deal than it really is.

    • Martin W

      I have such mixed feelings about the handling of cancer in the media, as a salve or feel good people for other people, so often I find it verging on exploitative. This was an obvious ratings ploy, all greedy TV execs care about is $$$. There was really zero reason for the Batkid segment at the Academy Awards

      I feel bad for Garfield if he comes away from this with any taint because I do believe his heart was in the right place and he did all he could to rectify the situation

    • Taylor

      The Oscar’s attempt to cash in on a feel good story is so
      typical. I like Batkid but there was absolutely no reason for him to be there.
      It was just a cheap attempt to capitalize on the kid’s popularity and it was
      disrespectful to Miles. I’m glad someone came to their senses and called the
      segment off. Knowing the writer’s track record in the past, the segment was more than likely God awful
      & anyone who actually genuinely cared about the boy, had a conscience and
      an iota of self-respect would reject it. What was great about Miles’ day in San
      Francisco was that it was natural, the crowds were spontaneous and it was
      something he really wanted to do. Miles lived his dream right there, nothing in
      a million years could top that day. At 5
      yrs old, does he even know what the Oscars are? You think walking out on the Oscars stage in
      front of actors he doesn’t even know or care about means anything to him? They just wanted to parade this kid around to
      make themselves look good. Another reason for me to hate this telecast of
      Hollywood self-indulgent pricks patting each other on the back and celebrating
      their “greatness”. Good for Garfield for having the balls to call
      them out on their #$it and phoniness & for trying to fix it. In the future, my recommendation? Play clips
      from the nominees. Just give out the Oscars & let people make speeches.

  • Jennifer

    In The Wrap’s tweet, it was said they were both caught in a lie. I don’t think Garfield lied in his statement. He admitted that he did contribute & collaborate on the presentation but had nothing to do with the segment getting yanked. Which is true. He didn’t walk off. He agreed to do their version in the end. The only way he may have contributed to the segment getting yanked was bringing to attention the problematic aspects of the script and that it was exploitative. He was probably right. If Garfield was wrong, they would’ve just made Chris Evans read the same part instead of changing it entirely. The Academy is of course going to say something vague like like they did “we cut the segment due to the logistics of production” They’re obviously not going to come out and say we cut it b/c we made a mistake and realized we might be exploiting the kid. How awful would that sound? Kudos to Garfield, I’ve always like the guy and I have more respect for him after today

  • chris

    Well let’s hear the exploitative speech then!

  • Seannie5

    I’d like to know what was so exploitative about the speech. Surely, it was down to the kid’s parents to make that decision? I doubt the academy would have been mean towards a 6 year old kid in front of the world. It sounds like Garfield was opinionated (seriously turning up with a different speech was douchey) and thought he had a lot more sway than he really did. The kid probably had a better time at Disneyland so it’s fine there, I just doubt Andrew did himself any favours with Sony.

    • Heather

      I don’t think he meant the presentation was “mean”, there are other ways it can be exploitative. It’s now been revealed that Garfield had script approval and was encouraged to contribute so it’s not like he was trying to go on some power trip like you imply. He could’ve just showed up at rehearsals, read his lines and left. But if you know Garfield, he’s very passionate guy, he genuinely cared about the kid & and wanted the segment to be right. I actually think it was brave of him to speak up when he thought something in his gut felt wrong esp. when doing so can get you blacklisted by the Academy. It sounds like Sony had a chat with him and told him sometimes you just have to let things go, suck it up, do it their way and just play the game. Andrew was thinking about the kid while Sony was thinking of $$$ and getting exposure for the new movie. After the segment was cut, it’s being reported that Garfield was invited to present solo but declined and elected to hang out w/ Mile’s at his hotel where they had a faux Oscar ceremony while dressed up in their tuxes. There’s an exclusive pic up on TMZ and it’s absolutely adorable. I don’t care what anyone says, I think Andrew was a class act.

      • HThompson

        This is Andrew Garfield we’re talking about, if it was Shia LaBeouf, this would be a different story entirely. If Andrew had legitimate concerns about the script, I believe him. He’s not one to hold up a production just because he can, he’s not an egotistical maniac. Ask anyone in Hollywood who has worked with him. He’s not like that AT ALL. Having Batkid on WAS a publicity stunt, using the the kid as a ratings ploy, trying to force him into a show that had nothing to do with him just bc there was some vague theme of “heroes”. I like how the Hitfix article called the Oscars out on this “this year’s theme was the “Movie Heroes,” because that is the vaguest, most uninspired idea the Academy could come up with short of “Movie Characters.” Which of course got the powers-that-be to thinking: “Hey, let’s get that Batkid what’s-his-name up here on Oscar night with Andrew Garfield so that people will cry, and also so that we can cut to Sandra Bullock in the audience crying!” I think leaving the segment out was the right call. If I was Miles I’d pick Disneyland w Spider-man over sitting and watching that snoozefest

      • Seannie5

        Jesus Christ, go back to your Garfield fansite little fan girl, your post was embarrassingly sycophantic!

  • Briana W

    The truth is probably somewhere in between…

    -The Oscar script was terrible (because all the Oscar bits were terrible)
    -Andrew pointed this out and tried to fix it
    -Producers realized there was no fixing the shitty thing
    -Producers cut it
    -Andrew got the blame.

    Batkid at the Oscars was a total publicity stunt & ratings grab, nice story, but totally out of place on a show like the Academy Awards. I was re-reading the original EW article when the producers first talked and teased about the segment, it said the producers smiled knowingly at each other and said expect to have your heartstrings tugged! Now that I know it was Batkid they were referring to and after reading about Andrew’s concerns, I have to say I can see where he might have been coming from…

  • Tim

    A 5 year old kid that has no concept of the Oscars so what would he care? Was he just being used to justify the heroes segment? Probably. Quite disgusting. Glad they came to their senses and pulled the segment

  • Benjamin Roussey

    All Spiderman movies suck. Including this one.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    Romney was right on about Russia and the Ukraine. Again, the Obama machine was
    wrong and even mocked Romney about it. Hilarious. Liberals just do not
    understand foreign policy. Obama is a punk and a very slow learner. Obama, your
    weakness on Syria has just caused an international crisis in the Ukraine. Good
    job, another black mark on your record where there is very little bright spots.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    I would not see another spiderman movie if they paid me.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    You believed the Obama lying machine.
    You believed you could keep your doctor and your insurance plan. You believed
    you would have lower health care costs. You believed the website would be
    working and would work. These idiots cannot even set up a website! Hilarious!
    Just like the Germans did in the 1930s who believed an egotistical liar, you
    believed the Obama who continues to lie and earn a Pinocchio every week.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    This guy is as pathetic as Tobey McGuire.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    It is called “personal
    responsibility”. We know liberals hate those two words when they are together
    because they do not want to take responsibility for their actions. It is not
    rich people’s fault you or your kids dropped out of high school. It is not rich
    people’s fault that they decided to study in high school and had the guts to
    start their own business and work at it until they had a winning product and/or
    service. It is not rich people’s fault that you chose to have a child out of wedlock
    and not listen to good advice when it was being handed to you. Most rich people
    were not born rich, they worked hard and did not spend all their spare time
    watching MTV or waiting for something to happen. They made it happen and they
    employ millions of Americans in jobs that matter. Your government job does not
    matter, most likely. And union members kill jobs but that is another story. It
    is about personal responsibility which liberals do not want to acknowledge
    because then they would have to realize their failure and stagnant professional
    is their fault and on one else’s.