The Oscars Will Skip Telecasting Some Of The Awards Live This Year

Love the Oscars? Hate the Oscars? Ignore the Oscars? If you're thinking about whether or not to dress up in your very fanciest duds to watch the 94th Academy Awards telecast this year, this news might help you with that decision. A number of the awards will not be televised live, according to The Hollywood Reporter

As you may recall, this first happened back in 2018. A whole lot of industry people were upset by it, leading the Academy to drop the idea. That's absolutely understandable. If you've worked your entire life to get recognition like this, finding out that, if you'd done it a year before, you'd be on TV, you're probably going to be disappointed. 

According to the report, the March 27, 2022 event will have eight of the awards given out in the hour before the live broadcast. Those awards include documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short, and sound. As a former makeup artist, this is disappointing. As someone who really values sound and music, it's even worse. The Academy declined comment on the article, but there is a letter from AMPAS President Dave Rubin, which was tweeted out by Eric Anderson from AwardsWatch. In the letter, it is explained that the eight awards will not be presented on the red carpet or as part of the pre-show. Rubin said:

"Instead, the in-person ceremony at the Dolby Theatre will begin one hour earlier to present eight awards categories before the live telecast starts. Those presentations will then be edited by our creative and production teams and will be folded seamlessly into the live televised show."

What viewers want to see versus what the industry wants

The Hollywood Reporter points out that last year's Academy Awards were the lowest rated ever, and this caused issues with ABC, which runs the broadcast, and has the exclusive rights until 2028. The fees are what funds a big chunk of the Academy business. As THR points out, most people only really care about the big awards like best picture, best director, best actor and actress, and best supporting actor/actress. 

Here's the thing, though: There is really no right answer here. As someone who has worked on all sides of the performance industry from makeup to acting to singing, and who lives with a storyboard artist, I have a powerful appreciation for what goes into a picture from people besides the actors and the directors. You don't make a film without production. You can't make a film without the below-the-line talent. You aren't showing a full picture of the industry without shorts and documentaries, be they live-action or animated. 

On the other hand, there is the fact that these are awards the industry is giving to itself. I know they make money off the broadcast, but I've heard so many people complain about the industry patting its own back with awards shows that I cannot stop myself from reminding them that yes, that's the whole point. People in the industry are recognizing their own, and proclaiming who is great at what they do. There is nothing wrong with that. 

It's time for a change

I think it might be worth looking at the Oscars telecast and doing a little readjusting. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should recognize the people who have done well in all the categories, and should celebrate the below-the-line members as well. The Oscars do rely on viewership, though, so maybe we just have the awards presented with a very short speech (yes, shorter than the ones now), and let the actors/craftspeople/casts give full speeches in the press room and stream them online. Double ads, folks.

It's just one idea, of course. I think a combo of online and broadcast might be fun. It would move the broadcast along faster, and still give everyone a shot at thanking their moms, telling their babysitters to put the kids to bed, and forgetting to thank their spouses. It's not like we rely on television anymore anyway. You know studios put out short trailers for the Super Bowl because they're so expensive, and direct you to watch the entire thing online? Like that! It's a thought, anyway. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly implied that some of these categories would not be televised at all, which it should have clearly stated that they would not be televised live. We regret the error.