The 94th Oscars take place on Sunday, but not everyone is excited for Hollywood's biggest night. Earlier this year, it was announced that eight predominantly craft categories would not be presented during Sunday's ABC telecast with those awards instead taking place before the actual ceremony inside the Dolby Theater. It was a move that was met with frustration by many in the film industry and now, there are protests planned for Sunday's ceremony — protests that could create some disruption.
Karol Urban, president of the Cinema Audio Society, told Deadline that there were plans in place for attendees of Sunday's Oscars to wear guild badges upside down and, for winners, to flip their Oscars when they accept them. She also explained that Cinema Audio Society isn't the only organization planning a form of protest.
"There is a multitude of different organizations that are working together to find ways to circumvent having their voices clipped," Urban said. "As the Oscars get closer, more and more craft people are showing solidarity. If there's anything positive that comes out of this very terrible situation this year, it's that we are becoming more solidified as the day comes closer."
It was previously announced that eight total award categories — documentary short, editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short, and sound — would all be presented prior to the Oscars ceremony with the taped awards edited into the telecast. However, while the awards will still be shared with audiences, Urban explained why the change is problematic.
"Because what we are going to say is going to be moderated and cut down and limited and we all know, as does another one of the affected categories, Best Editing, how impactful editing can be to a story," Urban said. "It diminishes the category voices. Additionally, I find upsetting it's not live in front of a full audience of peers. We don't get to hear that sound of applause of support from the entire community of equal filmmakers. That's very heartbreaking."
The decision to cut the eight categories from the live telecast is part of an effort to reinvigorate ratings for the annual event, which have been in decline for a few years. The Academy attempted a similar model for the 2018 awards, but quickly changed its mind after industry backlash. Additional changes to this year's Oscars include the Oscars Fan-Favorite Movie and Oscars Cheer Moment, both selected by fan votes on Twitter as well as three. hosts this year — Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes — with the hosts rotating each hour.
The 94th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 27th at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood. It will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
What do you think about the decision to not air several categories as part of the live Oscars broadcast? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @lifeinpolaroid!