Entertainment

The Hollywood union has criticized the exclusion of handicrafts from the Oscar show

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents some 160,000 behind-the-scenes workers in the entertainment industry, has weighed in on the backlash against the film academy’s move to remove eight categories from Oscar broadcasting.

IATSE President Matthew Loeb urged the awards show to reverse its plan to no longer have those award categories — which include film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and production design — as part of the live show — a move he proposed to help the bad treatment further reinforce the crew in Hollywood.

“Behind the scenes, the workers receive little credit, despite being the backbone of any production,” Loeb said in a statement Monday. “The awards are intended to give equal weight to all positions that make images possible. If the winners go home with the same trophy, then the winners deserve equal recognition. I urge the Academy to reconsider.”

The academy decided this year to give in to the pressure of dwindling ratings and remove 8 awards from their live show.

While the top 23 categories are awarded live on air, five below-the-line awards and the three short film Oscars are awarded prior to the start of the program, with clips of the presentations and acceptance speeches being edited into the program.

The move caused an uproar in the various craft workshops months after the union threatened a historic strike over working conditions.

Loeb and IATSE opposition helped reverse a similar decision to change the show in 2019.

Then a plan to give out four awards — cinematography, editing, live-action short, and make-up and hairstyling — during that year’s show’s commercial breaks sparked a bitter protest from members who saw it as an insult to some of the film’s most important crafts considered. Just days before the ceremony, the academy reversed the decision.

Earlier this month, more than 70 prominent industry figures – including Oscar winners James Cameron, Kathleen Kennedy, John Williams and Guillermo del Toro – issued an open letter urging the Academy to roll back the controversial plan, which they said that some nominees in “the status of second-class citizens.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-03-21/hollywood-crew-union-calls-for-reinstatement-of-behind-scenes-oscars The Hollywood union has criticized the exclusion of handicrafts from the Oscar show

Caroline Bleakley

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