The American Society of Cinematographers has rejected claims by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that it’s not snubbing the cinematography Oscar this year.
AMPAS has come under heavy fire after it emerged that it was pushing a number of live presentations of this year’s Oscars into the ad breaks.
Among them is the Oscar for cinematography, which has caused a huge, industry-wide backlash.
Yesterday, the Academy responded with a statement, blaming ‘inaccurate reporting and misinformation’, and said that the Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Live Action Short categories had been ‘volunteered’ by their branches to have footage of their awards presentation abridged.
“Time spent walking to the stage and off, will be edited out,” it said in a statement. “The four winning speeches will be included in the broadcast.”
But the ASC is having none of it.
In a statement, it said: “The act of handing out certain awards during commercial breaks and then, at your discretion, airing this content, is most certainly depicting these categories in a lesser light than those being honored live in the spotlight on the main stage.”
It’s also taken issue with the so-called ‘voluntary’ part of the agreement.
“While you have stated that branch members were involved, and the Cinematography Branch ‘volunteered,’ it seems that almost no one knew much about this nor were any of the members at large consulted or allowed to weigh in (vote) in advance of the decision,” the statement goes on, before taking on AMPAS’s accusations of media inaccuracy.
“There was simply no room for misinterpretation, misrepresentation or inaccuracy. And the media has reported well on this issue and should be commended for airing both sides equally.”
A letter sent to AMPAS from the ASC objecting to the move of shoving the four categories into the ad break, in an attempt to shorten the ceremony, has been signed by a dizzying host of actors, directors, cinematographers and other movie industry figures.
Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo Del Toro, Sandra Bullock, Frances McDormand, George Clooney and dozens of others all signed an open letter to AMPAS president John Bailey, showing their displeasure at the snub.
Meanwhile, Russell Crowe tweeted: “The Academy is removing cinematography and editing and make up from the televised show? This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision, I’m not even going to bothered trying to be a smart arse about it.
“It’s just too f**king dumb for words.”