Russell Crowe Blasts Oscars' Decision to Cut Categories from Live Show: It's Too 'Dumb for Words'
Russell Crowe is taking aim at the Academy Awards for its decision to remove several categories from its live show.
The Academy announced on Monday it was removing four categories from the live telecast on Feb. 24 and presenting them during commercial breaks: cinematography, film editing, makeup/hairstyling and live action short. Edited versions of the winners’ speeches will air later in the broadcast.
The 54-year-old Oscar winner, who won for Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator, slammed the Academy for the decision in a tweet on Wednesday.
“The Academy is removing cinematography, editing and make up from the televised show?” he tweeted. “This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision, I’m not even going to be bothered trying to be a smart arse about it. It’s just too f—— dumb for words.”
Crowe wasn’t the only one who disagreed with the decision. Alfonso Cuarón also took issue with the Academy in a tweet on Tuesday. (Cuarón won the Oscar for Best Director in 2014 for Gravity. He is nominated in that category again this year for Roma, as well as in the Best Cinematography, best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.)
“In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music,” he tweeted. “No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
His good friend and fellow Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro agreed, adding, “Reposting, revised: I would not presume to suggest what categories should occur during commercials on Oscars night, but, please: Cinematography & Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical or literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”
Seth Rogen also shared his thoughts, writing, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.”
Josh Gad retweeted Rogen, adding, “Agreed. Not quite sure why the Academy Awards seems to hate the Academy Awards this year.”
Outlander star Caitriona Balfe blasted the Academy as well, tweeting, “What the f—?? Cinematography, editing, hair and make up and live action shorts Oscars aren’t going to be aired.”
“Who on Earth is making these f—— up decisions. Movie making is a collaborative experience with each and every cog in the wheel playing an essential role in the making of whatever project,” she continued. “No one part of the endeavour is more important or more valuable than the rest. How could a film exist without a cinematographer???? And editor???? An academy that demeans such essential roles is one that obviously doesn’t understand the film making process.”
She added, “Every actor will tell you so much of how they build their character is through hair and make up. ALSO essential to the process. And for the people who have slaved and sweated and broke their backs and bank balances to make short films that are purely creative endeavours and very rarely will ever make money … the prospect of getting an Oscar and people learning about you and your project is essential and been the springboard for countless careers. Ughhhhh so bloody disgusted by this decision. Everyone should have their moment to shine … if they deserve an Oscar they deserve their moment. It’s bulllllls—!!!!”
The decision to remove four categories from the live telecast was announced in August, but the categories weren’t named until Monday, according to Variety.
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Removing the four categories comes in an effort by the Academy to execute a swift three-hour show instead of a much longer award show, such as the 2018 Oscars which almost clocked in at four hours long.
In an interview with Indiewire, Academy president John Bailey said, “I just don’t think the show could run more than three hours mainly because three hours is 11 o’clock on the East Coast. Where the lights go out, and you think, ‘We’ll wait and find out who won the big awards.’ We don’t want four or five of the major awards to be given out after we’ve lost a good percentage of the East Coast audience, so we’ve gotta do that.”
The 2019 ceremony has made headlines for months, beginning with Kevin Hart’s decision to step down as host after past homophobic tweets he had written resurfaced. Hart, 39, apologized in a tweet and on his SiriusXM radio show.
His friend and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle costar Dwayne Johnson revealed in a tweet last week that he was the Academy’s first choice to host the award show but that a busy schedule prevented him from taking the job.
The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air live Feb. 24 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.