Without a host leading the ceremony, the Academy Awards is turning to major A-list stars in order to attract viewers to the film industry’s biggest night. The first round of presenters announced earlier this week included megastars like Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, and Jennifer Lopez, plus favorites like Awkwafina and Tessa Thompson, but one group of actors reportedly being snubbed from the ceremony is last year’s winners: Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, and Frances McDormand.
Oscar tradition usually has the winner of each acting category from the previous year present the current award in the opposite category. Per tradition, Allison Janney should be the one presenting this year’s Best Supporting Actor prize. Janney won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress last year for her performance in “I, Tonya.” Janney apparently confirmed she has not been asked to present in a since-deleted Instagram post (via Vanity Fair). The actress added she is upset over being snubbed from the ceremony.
“It’s looking like they are not going to honor the tradition this year,” Janney wrote. “It breaks my heart.”
Janney is not only an Oscar winner but also a seven-time Emmy winner and a beloved veteran of the industry whose sharp comic timing would probably give the Oscars a much-needed jolt of energy (the same could be said for Frances McDormand, whose “inclusion rider” name drop at the end of her Best Actress speech last year was the ceremony’s defining moment). For whatever reason, neither Janney nor her fellow winners appear to fit the Academy’s current bill of having enough star power to allow them to present on the Oscar telecast. IndieWire has reached out to the Academy for further comment.
Whether or not the Academy decides to allow last year’s winners to take the Oscar stage this year remains to be seen, as more presenters will be announced over the next couple of weeks. It should be noted the Academy could change its mind as backlash continues to grow, and history points to that being a likely outcome here. Severe criticisms over last year’s introduction of a Best Popular Film category got that addition cut, while backlash last month resulted in the Academy deciding to allow all of this year’s nominees for Best Original Song to perform during the telecast after it was first reported only “Shallow” and “All the Stars” made the cut.
The 91st Academy Awards air Sunday, February 24 at 8pm ET on ABC.