It’s one of the oldest clichés in Hollywood: When it comes the Academy Awards, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
Well, it turns out that honor has its limits.
When the motion picture academy announced Monday that it would move four key awards to commercial breaks during this year’s Oscars telecast in an effort to keep the show to a slimmed-down three hours, the blowback from both within the film industry and outside of it was swift and intense.
Facing steadily declining ratings for the Oscars and perennial complaints about the show’s bloated length, the academy’s board of governors voted last August to cut a handful of the 24 award categories out of the live broadcast — a break with tradition that prompted grumbling from some members. But when academy president John Bailey revealed in a letter to members that those categories would include some of filmmaking’s most vital crafts — cinematography, editing and makeup and hairstyling — that grumbling became a roar, with some of the industry’s most prominent voices expressing their deep dismay.
“I think it’s outrageous,” said Jim Burke, who served as a producer on the best picture-nominated “Green Book.” “To not publicly recognize editors and cinematographers is a big mistake. I’m in favor of a shorter show but not at the expense of these two vital components to the filmmaking process.”
Alfonso Cuarón, whose poetic film “Roma” has earned 10 Oscar nods including best picture, took to Twitter to voice his frustration, as did other Oscar winners including Guillermo del Toro and Russell Crowe.
“In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music,” wrote Cuarón, who was nominated both for his direction and cinematography work on “Roma.” “No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”
On Tuesday, American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum sent a letter to the group’s members — of which Bailey is one — calling the academy’s decision “most unfortunate,” writing, “We cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.”
While most reserved their deepest consternation over the cinematography and editing snubs, “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly threw in support for the hairstyling and makeup nominees as well.
Referring to a notoriously raunchy sight gag in the 1998 Farrelly Brothers comedy “There’s Something About Mary” involving Cameron Diaz’s hair, Farrelly told The Times, “Without hair and makeup, we got no movie. That goes straight to video without that hair.”
The academy’s leadership — which decided which categories to cut in conjunction with governors from the impacted branches — expected some degree of blowback to the announcement, according to a source within the organization. Still, it was surprised by the ferocity of the criticism, chalking it up to a misperception that the selected awards, which also include live-action short, were being jettisoned from the show entirely.
Indeed, in his letter to members, Bailey stressed that the academy was “still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars,” noting that the winners’ speeches would be edited into a later point in the telecast and that the four awards presentations will be live-streamed in their entirety on Oscar.com, a first for the ceremony. According to an academy insider, the awards will be presented in the exact same manner as every other category.
You move the Oscars for the two jobs that are hand-in-hand collaborations with the director but televise the award for animated short. It’s offensive.
Anonymous film academy member on the decision to not televise certain Oscar categories
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Still, for many members, the takeaway was that the academy was throwing some of its most critical crafts under the bus in an ill-conceived gambit to score higher ratings.
“People are enraged,” said one member, who declined to speak on the record due to the sensitivity of the subject. “Editing and cinematography? Seriously? You move the Oscars for the two jobs that are hand-in-hand collaborations with the director but televise the award for animated short. It’s offensive.”
Nevertheless, with the ratings for last year’s telecast hitting an all-time low, many within the academy’s leadership felt that trimming some awards out of the live broadcast, while painful, was long overdue. Speaking to The Times in September, Bailey anticipated that there would be some pushback against the idea but insisted that it had been given careful consideration.
“Nothing is going to be thrown off the show — all 24 awards are going to be done in the show,” Bailey said, predicting at that point that as many as eight awards could be ultimately moved to commercial breaks. “They’ll be slightly edited and given during the course of the show, the way the Tonys do. At board meetings, when we were considering all of these things, we looked at one of these edited versions, and they were great. The walk down the aisle was trimmed a little bit. Cumulatively, it’s going to save some time.”
Bailey declined to comment for this story, as did the show’s producers, Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss.
Notably, Bailey is himself a cinematographer and his wife, Carol Littleton, is an editor, with both sitting on the academy’s board of governors. Some have suggested that the two felt obligated to take the lead in moving their branches’ awards to commercial breaks.
“I heard they wanted to be an example and be selfless,” said one academy member, who declined to comment on the record so as not to offend the group’s leadership. “That’s very noble — and very stupid.”
Despite the perceived missteps, however, some are sympathetic to the conundrum the academy faces. Producer and former studio executive Bill Mechanic, who previously served on the academy’s board of governors, said the organization finds itself being tugged in opposing directions as it attempts to rein in and reinvigorate the Oscars while also preserving its mission of honoring cinema’s best and brightest.
“People in the academy have different views: Is the Oscars an entertainment show, or is it a show for its membership?” said Mechanic, who produced the Oscars telecast with Adam Shankman in 2010. “If it’s an entertainment show — which I think it has to be — then, you have to figure out how it plays as entertainment. There’s no way not to cut… The first Oscar telecasts had a third fewer awards and a two-hour time limit. At some point, more and more awards and a four-hour show just does not work for an audience.”
Indeed, ABC, which airs the Oscars, made it clear from the outset that it wanted to limit this year’s telecast to three hours, even as it left it up to the academy to figure out exactly how it would get there.
“The academy promised ABC last year, after a very lengthy telecast … to keep the show to three hours,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said during her Television Critics Association press conference last week. “So the producers, I think, wisely decided to not have a host and to go back to having the presenters and the movies be the stars, and that will be the best way that we kind of keep the show at a brisk three hours.”
People watch three hours of ‘The Bachelor.’ They will certainly watch four of the Oscars. Just tell people it is a binge.
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Some, however, would rather let the Oscars run long than see some nominees get slighted.
“I understand the demands of time, but I think people would rather have a great show than a rushed show with less awards and less entertainment,” said producer and director Judd Apatow. “I think they should just do a great four-hour show. People watch three hours of ‘The Bachelor.’ They will certainly watch four of the Oscars. Just tell people it is a binge.”
Despite the firestorm, academy insiders say that, with less than two weeks to go before the show, the group is unlikely to reverse its decision. The board of governors has already stated that, in future shows, four to six other categories will be selected on a rotating basis to be presented during commercial breaks. The four awards omitted from this year’s live broadcast will be guaranteed on-air slots in 2020.
“I’m an academy member, and we knew this was coming. Not a surprise for us. I go to the meetings. This is an experiment. It’s not written in stone,” says Sue Cabral-Ebert, a former president of the makeup artists and hairstylists guild. “Some people think the awards aren’t going to be given at all. They are. Take a deep breath. We’re still going to have our time. You’re just not going to see us come up the aisle.”
The fact is, for all the displeasure being voiced across the industry over the academy’s break with decades of tradition, it’s likely that many, if not all, of those who end up with a gold statuette on Oscar night will take the victory any way they can get it.
Asked if he would be upset to see his longtime editor accept an Oscar during a commercial break, Lee wrote, “I’d take that in a NY millisecond. He would too. Fo’sho.”
Times staff writer Stephen Battaglio contributed to this report.
She is expecting a child with her NRL star boyfriend Tom Burgess, 26, in August.
But before discovering her baby news, model Tahlia Giumelli posed for a sizzling Valentine’s Day photo shoot for Bras N Things.
In the campaign images, which were released on Wednesday, the 25-year-old footy WAG showed off her sensational figure in lingerie.
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Hot mama! Footy WAG Tahlia Giumelli stripped down to lingerie for a sizzling Bras N Things campaign unveiled on Wednesday
She modelled a variety of different items for the themed photo shoot, including a three-piece lingerie set with sheer stockings.
Featuring a keyhole cut-out, the halterneck bra provided a glimpse of her cleavage.
The daring ensemble also included a G-string and waspie belt that was attached to her hosiery with scarlet suspenders.
Bloomin’ beauty! Tahlia posed against a wall of red roses in corset-inspired lingerie consisting of a floral bodice and matching briefs
She also posed against a wall of red roses in corset-inspired lingerie consisting of a floral bodice and matching briefs.
A third, and decidedly less suggestive, outfit consisted of a satin camisole and shorts.
In some of the more extravagant photos from the campaign, she posed on a velvet sofa while dripping with jewels before reclining in a bathtub filled with champagne and ice.
Modest: A decidedly less suggestive outfit consisted of a satin camisole and shorts
Sheer daring! She modelled a variety of different items for the Valentine’s Day themed photo shoot, including a three-piece lingerie set with sheer stockings
Touch of luxury! In some of the more extravagant photos from the campaign, she posed on a velvet sofa while dripping with jewels
Feeling the chill! She also reclined in a bathtub filled with champagne and ice
Tahlia, who has worked with Bras N Things for four years, said: ‘I absolutely love working with them, not only because their products fit perfectly which makes me feel amazing, but because they are all about helping women to feel confident and comfortable, always.’
It comes after she announced her pregnancy on Tuesday.
Tahlia told The Daily Telegraph that she and Tom were thrilled and ‘surprised’ to be welcoming their first child together.
‘I’m three months along, so we’ve just hit that 13 week mark,’ she said.
The former Miss Universe Australia finalist has been dating the South Sydney Rabbitohs star since November 2016, but they are not engaged.
Celebrations are in order! It comes after Tahlia announced her pregnancy on Tuesday
Starting a family! Tahlia told The Daily Telegraph that she and boyfriend Tom Burgess were thrilled and ‘surprised’ to be welcoming their first child together
Two lip items in the “Valentine Collection” also happen to be names of Taylor Swift songs.
Kim Kardashian also recently squashed the Swift feud and many are wondering if Jenner is secretly a Swiftie.
Kylie Jenner recently unveiled her Kylie Cosmetics“Valentine Collection,” and although the various cosmetics and lip kits don’t go on sale until February 1 – Kylie teased the collection with her usual Instagram Story arm swatches. While highlighting the new Valentine’s Day lip colours, several fans noticed that two lip kit items had the same names as Taylor Swift songs.
I feel like people are forgetting that Kim/Kendall/Kylie used to constantly tweet old school taylor lyrics 24/7 – they’ve loved her for a long time
A lip gloss in Jenner’s Forever Set lip kit is named “Story of Us” and a lip liner is called “Forever and Always,” which are both names of Swift songs. “Forever and Always” is off Swift’s classic 2008 “Fearless” album and “The Story of Us” is off the 2010 “Speak Now” album. Both songs are fan-favourites but also deep cuts.
If Jenner has been harboring a love affair with Swift’s music, now would be the time to open up about it. Kanye West and Swift’s feud goes all the way back to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, but the Kardashians didn’t get involved until the “I made that b—- famous” fiasco of 2016.
However, during a recent “Watch What Happens Live” appearance, Kardashian all but squashed the nearly decade-long feud. “I feel like we’ve all moved on,” Kardashian West told Andy Cohen, and added that she’s “over it.”
It’s possible that Kardashian West cleared the air for Jenner to come clean as a Swiftie, but it could also be a total coincidence seeing as Swift’s romantic songs just so happen to make perfect Valentine’s Day copy.
Rihanna‘s been out here teasing her new album, keeping her Navy crew on their toes for when her new tape will finally arrive. Well before the new year, she explained to her loyal following that new music hasn’t arrived since she’s been so busy with her other entrepreneurial commitments.
“I know I know sis. I’m doing music. Simultaneously doing lingerie, makeup, film, amongst a couple other things that I enjoy,” she wrote to an eager fan. “When the music is ready, you won’t have to ask for it. But it’s coming. Just not today sis. I’m hype too tho, it can’t come soon enough for me. #Navy4Life.”
Rihanna has now dropped off another video to her Instagram story letting us know that she’s still putting in work with a video that shows her posted up in the studio. This time the volume isn’t muted as it has been before and we hear Riri bust out a little melody – check it out below.
“Rihanna wasn’t happy with how her last album performed – even though she loved how it turned out, she knows she needs a new project full of smash hits to avoid two back-to-back flops,” a source previously stated. “She’s currently recording two albums – one full of chart-friendly songs, and another made up of moody and experimental tracks – and is considering releasing a double disc if she feels the songs won’t mesh well on the same album.”