More industry heavyweights are joining the protest against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following the February 11 announcement of the four Oscars categories that are being moved to the commercial breaks and airing later in the ABC telecast. Over 100 directors and cinematographers signed an open letter published February 13 condemning the Academy for its decision. Original signees included Roger Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki, Damien Chazelle, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee.
Following the open letter’s publication, actors are stepping up and adding their own names as signatures, including Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Banks, Robert De Niro, Peter Dinklage, Rosamund Pike, Sandra Bullock, and Kerry Washington. Major directors Christopher Nolan, Michael Mann, Denis Villeneuve, Nicole Holofcener, and Alejandro G. Inarritu are also new additions to the protest. Both Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón have now added their signatures to the letter as well. The two directors previously spoke out against the Academy on social media, specifically for its decision to move Best Editing and Best Cinematography to commercial breaks.
“In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music,” wrote Cuarón, whose “Roma” is nominated for 10 Academy Awards. “No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
The open letter states: “The Academy was founded in 1927 to recognize and uphold excellence in the cinematic arts, inspire imagination and help connect the world through the universal medium of motion pictures. Unfortunately, we have drifted from this mission in our pursuit of presenting entertainment rather than in presenting a celebration of our art form and the people behind it. Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.”
Click here to read the open letter in its entirety and see the full list of signees.