Oscars Academy Catches Flak From IATSE President for Dumping Categories to Commercial Breaks

American Society of Cinematographers president also promised to “protest” the decision

Last Updated: February 13, 2019 @ 9:57 AM

The president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s controversial decision to announce four awards during the commercial break of the telecast.

“By denying four categories — three of them below-the-line — their equal share of television coverage, the Academy displayed a complete absence of the kind of creativity their awards celebrate,” IATSE president Matthew Loeb said in a statement Wednesday. “IATSE members, including cinematographers, editors, and hair and makeup stylists, are the core of any motion picture production. They create the iconic scenes and looks that make this medium so memorable. Without their work, none of the most-beloved films in Hollywood history would have been possible.

“It is an insult to the hardworking women and men of all below-the-line crafts to push these nominees and winners out of the spotlight. We demand that the Academy reverse course and treat all categories with the respect they deserve.”

Academy president John Bailey revealed on Monday that Best Cinematography, along with the categories for Film Editing, Live-Action Short and Make-Up and Hairstyling, would not be presented live and instead be awarded during commercial breaks of the Oscars ceremony in an attempt to keep the broadcast to under three hours.

The winners’ speeches will then be “slightly edited” and inserted into the broadcast. The original presentations will be streamed live on Oscar.com and on Academy social channels.

On Tuesday, Kees van Oostrum, the president of the American Society of Cinematographers, (ASC) sent a strongly worded letter to the organization’s members on Tuesday, reacting to the Academy’s decision. He called The Academy’s move a “most unfortunate decision” and promised to “protest” the decision.