Film AcademyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 12/13/18 at 2:28AM EST
Recalling the last host-less Oscars: The train wreck featuring Rob Lowe's duet with Snow White
The 61st Academy Awards in 1989 is widely consdired the worst Oscars ever. "No, the lack of a host didn’t really have much to do with the show’s multitudinous failures," says Steve Pond, offering a cautionary tale on a potential host-less 91st Academy Awards. "And no, this year’s producer, Donna Gigliotti, and co-producer and director, Glenn Weiss, aren’t likely to make the kind of mistakes that Allan Carr made back then. But looking at that show, it’s hard not to think that a steady hand at the helm would have helped."
Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 10:14PM EST
Why The Academy should go with the no-host option for this year's Oscars
The last host-free Oscars, in 1989, was a disaster. But previous host-less Oscars -- in 1969, 1970 and 1971 -- "were actually pretty good," says Michael Cieply. They were "short, entertaining, and widely viewed. You could do worse," he says. "This year, eliminating the host would clean up a multitude of problems, all at once," says Cieply. "For starters, the painful search for a trouble-free emcee could be over as early as this evening, if the Academy’s Board of Governors were to sign on during their regularly scheduled gathering. No intrusive vetting. No preemptive apologies. No diversity debate. No one tagged as an unfortunate stop-gap. No host... Losing the host will do much to reduce the show’s political volatility, and might open the door to viewers who have been fleeing the barbed politics of past awards broadcasts in droves." ALSO: Public figures should learn from Kevin Hart's mistake: "Own up, and own up early."
Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 12:37AM EST
The Academy is mulling a host-less Oscars
Variety reports The Academy was "blindsided" by Hart's abrupt decision to step down Thursday night. ABC and The Academy had no contingency plans. The Academy's Board of Governors are expected to meet Tuesday night to explore all options. Insiders tell Variety that one option being "tossed around" is to go without a host and have “a bunch of huge celebs, something SNL style, and buzzy people to throw to commercial." Variety also reports: "The Academy had hoped that Hart would apologize for a series of years-old homophobic tweets and show signs of genuine remorse, but would stop short of actually leaving the show, said another person close to the Hart exit. The group’s leadership did believe the comic needed to do a better job of addressing the jokes, which included tweets that made light of AIDS and offensive comments about the trans community."
- Does the Academy really want presenters doing lame jokes as their intros?
- Why Kevin Hart's Oscars backlash was different from other recent public shamings
- Stop looking at Hart as the victim of his own controversy
- Here is the difference between Sarah Silverman and Kevin Hart's old homophobic tweets
- Patton Oswalt would not want to host the Oscars, as Stephen King suggested
Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 10:10PM EST
ABC and The Academy's handling of the Kevin Hart debacle left them looking clueless
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"Nothing that happened this week should have surprised anybody and yet it all played out in half-assed Instagram posts and stealthy late-night announcements," says Daniel Fienberg. "That's not how ABC and the Academy should be treating what is a crown jewel for both, nor how Kevin Hart should have treated what he called a life-long dream." Fienberg points out that it is especially mind-boggling that ABC, following its Roseanne Barr disaster six months ago, "would sign off on giving any high-profile or low-profile gig to any individual without knowing every word that person ever posted on Twitter and without a clear and immediate exit strategy in mind." It's even more shocking, he says, that ABC had no plan to deal with the controversy when it erupted on social media. As Fienberg notes, it doesn't take a publicist or crisis manager to figure out that a heartfelt apology, a donation to an LGBTQ organization and a sincere interview with a friendly media outlet would've gone a long way to putting this controversy to rest. "That's the thing," says Fienberg. "These tweets that people 'found' from Kevin Hart? Everybody knew they were there. Everybody. This was simply who Kevin Hart was both on Twitter and in his standup work less than a decade ago. He may be different now. Heaven knows that people are entitled to evolve; it's ideal. But he was still basically this same person when he first hosted the BET Awards and the first of several MTV-sponsored awards shows. Nobody takes those awards shows as seriously as people take the Oscars, nor should they, but the Academy and ABC couldn't possibly have been unaware that Hart is and was a figure with some objectionable stuff in his background — and Hart says he's apologized for this stuff in the past."
- Why wouldn't Kevin Hart just apologize before stepping down?: "Was he feeling that his core following would think he had sold out his beliefs for a job?" asks Mike Fleming Jr. "Does he still hold those beliefs against LGBTQs? Did he really believe that because he is also a stand-up comedian he is entitled to say insulting things to keep his standing as an edgy comic? Did he think, hell, these are just words? It is as hard to say as why he chose to actually apologize only after he stepped away from the job. In the hours preceding, he scoffed at people who didn’t think he had evolved as a 40-year-old man in the eight years since he issued those homophobic tweets. He certainly didn’t come off as contrite or sincere, mostly focused on those who cobbled together the social media missives that fueled his downfall. Hart’s unwillingness to be changeable was his undoing. What is sad is that his versatility and changeability has been one of his biggest assets. His career was built on being changeable."
- Kevin Hart is the "smarmiest, sleaziest, creepiest and unfunniest award show guest of the past decade": "The sheer jaw-dropping badness of this decision defies all logic," says Rob Sheffield. "Hosting the Academy Awards used to be one of the most prestigious, high-profile gigs in show business. How did it become a job they got so desperate to fill, they called Kevin Hart, knowing his shtick? It’s not like his sense of humor is some kind of guilty secret he kept hidden until this week." Sheffield adds: "Not a thing about this fiasco makes a lick of sense. Kevin Hart is a wildly successful movie star and comedian. He is a man of many talents. Award shows are not one of them. He is the smarmiest, sleaziest, creepiest and unfunniest award show guest of the past decade. He usually co-presents with a female movie star and slimes all over her sexually — like at the podium at the 2015 Golden Globes with Salma Hayek, when yes, he made a joke about her 'golden globes' (meaning her breasts) and she just cringed, as we all cringed for her. Salma Hayek was not anointed to host this year’s Oscars. Kevin Hart was."
- The Kevin Hart choice so discounted the Oscars’ gay viewership that it almost felt like a deliberate insult: "It’s an embarrassing tell for the Academy and ABC, an exposure of their baser motivations in this whole process," says Richard Lawson. "I don’t fault them for wanting to hire someone as popular as Kevin Hart is. I guess I do fault them, though, for not seeming to care much about who values the Oscars, who debates and predicts and live-tweets and roots and cheers along. I’m sure there are plenty of shitty straight guys, the kind who would laugh knowingly at Hart’s jokes about beating the gay out of his son, who enjoy the Oscars too. But why is that segment of the viewership so routinely favored over us?"
- Why we need to forgive Kevin Hart: "I fear we’re creating a disastrous precedent," says Susan Fowler. "In holding people accountable for their old views — even ones they realized were wrong and apologized for — we are setting standards that nobody can meet. We cannot expect to make progress if we do not allow people the chance to grow with us."
- Don't feel sorry for Kevin Hart: "Lying in bed in a sea of plush white linens, looking dejected, Hart filmed himself lamenting those who chose to focus on his words from long ago and who refused to let him evolve," says C. Nicole Mason, adding: "Hart’s solemn indignation is a trick meant to cause us to question our moral compass and to empathize with him, the person being called to account. It is straight out of a now-familiar playbook used by powerful wrongdoers to fashion themselves as the victim and to whip up public support and empathy."
- Snoop Dogg gives Kevin Hart a pep talk: “Hey Kev, don’t trip. It ain’t our kind of sh*t, no way
Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 1:25PM EST
Kevin Hart's non-apology doomed him -- not his old homophobic tweets
"Hart’s history might have doomed him from the start," says Sam Adams, "but he’s hardly the first prospective Oscars host with questionable material in his past—Seth MacFarlane and Chris Rock got the gig, after all—and though these may be more sensitive times, there’s also an established protocol for resolving these kinds of issues: a sincere apology, an interview with a sympathetic journalist, maybe a charitable donation or two." Hart did ultimately apologize, but only after announcing he was stepping down. Adams adds: "What Hart’s posts didn’t contain was anything resembling a genuine apology, or even a hint that he was genuinely sorry. If anything, he seemed to want an apology from other people for not already understanding what a good and happy person he is. It’s possible that no new words from Hart could have wiped away his old ones, but an act of public contrition would at least have given the Academy a leg to stand on. Instead, Hart posted a video saying he had just gotten off the phone and been told he needed to apologize to keep the job, and then signed off without apologizing—at which point both his and the Academy’s hands were effectively tied. A few hours after the second video, Hart tweeted he had 'made the choice' to step away from the hosting job and then ended up posting the apology that might have allowed him to keep the job in the first place."
Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 1:25PM EST
Who should host the Oscars?
Proposals from Hollywood stars on who should replace Kevin Hart ranged frokm Patton Oswalt to Kathy Griffin to Lin-Manuel Miranda to Melissa McCarthy. "Let @BetoORourke host the Oscars," joked Billy Eichner. "We all like him and it’ll be a real test to see if he can handle an impossible job in front of the world!" Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais offered himself up for the job: "Dear c*nts in charge of The Oscars," he tweeted, "let me host your show, and I promise I won't offend anyone. Not even Mel Gibson, who you nominated last year."
Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 5:37PM EST
Film Academy president lauds choice of Kevin Hart, defends against naysayers who consider hosting the Oscars a thankless job
“First of all, he’s a very kind of warm and loving and lovable person,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey told Variety. “He’s also wanted to do this for many years. He’s been very clear how he felt about it and that’s very heartening to us.” As for those who believe the job is thankless, Bailey said: “I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people like Kevin who have dreamed of doing this. Life is a risk. You go out on that stage and you don’t know whether you’re going to bomb or be a smash. It’s like the opening night of a Broadway play except we only play for one night.”
Posted Monday 10/22/18 at 10:25PM EDT
After proposing on the Emmys, Glenn Weiss to co-produce the Oscars with Donna Gigliotti serving as producer
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Hidden Figures producer Gigliotti will helm the 91st Oscars, while Weiss, who directed the past three Oscars, will be elevated to co-producer. Weiss famously proposed to his girlfriend last month while picking up an Emmy for directing the 90th Academy Awards. “Donna Gigliotti has worked on some of the most celebrated films of our time and is uniquely qualified to bring her talent to the most anticipated awards show of the year,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement. “And, thanks to Glenn Weiss, we just experienced the most talked-about moment at the Emmys with his heartfelt onstage wedding proposal. We can’t wait to see how they top that at the Oscars.” ALSO: Could the new producing team design a radical makeover of the Oscars?
Posted Friday 9/21/18 at 1:26PM EDT
Could the Oscars end up on a streaming service a decade from now?
Source: Vanity Fair
ABC holds the rights to the Academy Awards through 2028, but some members of the Academy are quietly pushing to have the rights to the annual ceremony sold to a streaming service. “Here is the problem, as evidenced in the ratings for the Emmys,” an Academy board member tells Vanity Fair. “TV is going nowhere. So why don’t we just get our money (from a streaming deal), not worry about ratings, and call it a day?”
Posted Friday 8/10/18 at 1:34PM EDT
Hollywoood Foreign Press Association president on Oscar changes: "I feel for them"
Meher Tatna, who oversees the Golden Globe Awards, says of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shaking up the Oscars rulebook: “They have to do something to keep the viewers engaged and this is what they thought was a good idea.” ALSO: Mark Wahlberg defends the new "popular film" category.
Posted Thursday 8/09/18 at 2:00PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel jokes that he's to blame for the drastic changes to the Oscars
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"Apparently I did such a good job of hosting the Oscars this year, they've decided to change everything about them," Kimmel said in his monologue.
Posted Wednesday 8/08/18 at 3:28PM EDT
CBS must be steamed that the Oscars are taking over the Grammys' traditional date
The Grammy Awards ceremony is usually broadcast one week after the Super Bowl, but the Film Academy announced today that it will take over the Sunday after the Super Bowl in 2020. (The Grammys are moved to January in Winter Olympics years. And the Grammys aired on a Monday, eight days after the Super Bowl, in 2016 to take advantage of Presidents' Day.) The Oscars have traditionally aired on the last Sunday of February, but the Oscars moving to the week after the Super Bowl means there will be back-to-back Sundays of massive TV events. "The Grammys have been ambushed, frankly," says Roger Friedman. "Do they move up a week? That would be Super Bowl Sunday. Do they switch with the Oscars and go two weeks later? Or back into January?" ALSO: The last time the Oscars moved to an earlier date -- from late March to late February, in 2004 -- all the other award shows leap-frogged to earlier dates as well.
Posted Wednesday 8/08/18 at 3:28PM EDT
Why limiting the Oscars to three hours is a bad idea: "The Oscars should always be long"
"At first, this sounds like a great idea, because the annoying people in your life always complain that the Oscars are too long," says Kyle Buchanan of the Film Academy's plan to make the ceremony three hours by cutting down on live awards. "Well, it’s not for them! The Oscars should always be long, because we wait all year for this show and those stray, long moments are where all the weird and memorable shit tends to happen! Nobody complains about the Super Bowl running 20 minutes over, because that’s masc, I guess. Even worse is the way this cut-down is going to be enacted: Several categories will be presented during the commercial breaks, then editors will whip together a quick montage of those winners to play later in the show. What a dumb way to diminish all the craft that goes into these movies and ding the non-famous on the biggest night of their lives, especially since many of these craftspeople hail from exactly the kind of popular blockbusters the Academy wants more of. (Just delete the three short-film categories like we’ve been telling you! They make no sense in the era of YouTube and they’re simply about rich kids renting out the Nuart to qualify!)"
Posted Wednesday 8/08/18 at 12:22PM EDT
Oscars to combat ratings decline with popular film category, shorter telecast and fewer live awards
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors voted last night on a number of significant changes to the broadcast, including moving the 2020 Oscars from Feb. 23 to Feb. 9 -- one week after the Super Bowl. Next year's Academy Awards ceremony airs on Feb. 24. The Academy decided to make major changes four months after the lowest-rated Oscars telecast, which followed three years of declining ratings. To address concerns that the telecast has become boring, the board has "committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours." The board also announced "we will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film" to lure viewers who have seen the most popular movies of the year. Finally, the board said "to honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."
Posted Wednesday 6/27/18 at 9:42PM EDT
Many TV favorites have been invited to become Oscar voters, from Mindy Kaling to Andre Braugher
The Academy's new Oscar voters also include Sarah Silverman, Hank Azaria, Kyra Sedgwick, Michael K. Williams, George Lopez, Christine Baranski, Alison Brie, Rashida Jones, Dave Chappelle, Anna Chlumsky, Wendell Pierce, Olivia Colman, Gina Rodriguez, Yeardley Smith, Ken Jeong, Kumail Nanjiani, Pedro Pascal, Ann Dowd, Lena Headey and Randall Park.
# TOPICS: 90th Academy Awards, George Lopez, Alison Brie, Andre Braugher, Anna Chlumsky, Ann Dowd, Christine Baranski, Dave Chappelle, Gina Rodriguez, Hank Azaria, Ken Jeong, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyra Sedgwick, Lena Headey, Michael K. Williams, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Colman, Pedro Pascal, Randall Park, Rashida Jones, Sarah Silverman, Wendell Pierce, Yeardley Smith, Award Shows, Film Academy