The long and winding Oscars saga took another turn Friday, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reversed its decision to remove four categories from next Sunday’s live telecast, Variety reports.
The decision comes after considerable backlash from both fans and the film community, who disagreed with the Academy’s decision to present the awards for cinematography, editing, live action short, and makeup and hairstyling during commercial breaks.
“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” the Academy said in a statement Friday. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24.”
While the Academy promised to air abbreviated versions of those particular acceptance speeches throughout the broadcast, the move was seen as a major slight to creatives who are integral to the art form. The controversial decision prompted an open letter from some of Hollywood’s most notable figures, including Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt, Christopher Nolan, George Clooney, and Spike Lee.
“When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form,” the letter read. “The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.”
In its defense, the Academy said that the move to cut the four categories from the telecast was “made in an effort to fit the host-less awards show within a three-hour running time.”
This marks the latest blunder in what has been a bumpy road to the Dolby Theater. In September, the Academy reversed its decision to award a Popular Film award after major backlash. That was followed up with the Kevin Hart hosting controversy, which will result in the first host-less Oscars since 1989. Now it’s up to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga to save the whole damn thing.