Oscars set to air Sunday, spark many controversies

Feb 20 • Opinion • 436

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It finally appears as if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is getting all its ducks in a row.
While the weeks leading up to the Oscars are normally pretty tumultuous, this year has turned everything up to 11.
First off, there was the whole business of the host. The day after the Academy announced that Kevin Hart would be hosting, they took it back. They cited outrage over homophobic tweets that Hart had put out years ago.
I thought after Disney fired James Gunn over his past tweets that would be the last of it and Hollywood had learned its lesson that times have changed and that things that were said in the past should stay there.
Apparently I was wrong. This leaves the show without a host, something that hasn’t happened since 1989.
While this isn’t the worst thing to happen, it’s frustrating to see people being punished for things that they said in the past.
People grow and evolve, and if we keep digging up past dirt on people and ruining their chances at hosting a show or being in another movie, we won’t have anyone left in Hollywood to watch. But that’s just my opinion.
Next, there was the whole business about cutting out some of the awards, namely Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
Guillermo del Toro put it very well on his Twitter, “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.”
I completely agree with this. There is no other medium aside from television in which cinematography and editing are found.
Story, dialogue, scripts, acting and production design can be found in many other mediums, but the only ones that are truly unique to film are cinematography and editing. The only motivation behind these ideas of change is money.
People tune out of the Oscars if someone famous isn’t on screen, and most common people don’t care about awards that don’t involve names that they recognize.
The problem with this approach is that it treats the event as strictly a television production, which takes away from the hard work that all the men and women who were nominated are trying to be recognized for.
This is one of the most frustrating things I have ever seen happen in Hollywood.
Del Toro and I are not the only ones who shared this opinion, however, and the Academy finally started making some sense and reinstated the awards into the normal runtime.
Contrary to what normally happens, the Academy actually responded to the public outrage and petitioning.
Despite all this complaining, I am still pretty excited for the Oscars. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys movies to tune in Sunday and see how the night works out.
I personally am hoping either “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Vice” wins. No matter what happens, if “Black Panther” wins, I’m going to riot.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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