Guillermo del Toro has implored the Academy to rethink its plans to cut eight awards from the show’s live Oscars telecast.

The Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro has spoken out against the Academy’s plans to cut eight awards from this year’s Oscars broadcast. The celebrated filmmaker, whose own neo-noir, Nightmare Alley is in contention for Best Picture, has challenged the Academy’s decision to reverse the show’s continued ratings slump by removing several categories from the telecast.

What’s more, del Toro makes a compelling argument too, stating, “most of the [movies] that are here tonight were done against many, many difficult odds and with a lot of people — we don’t do them alone. We do them together, and the people that made them with us did it risking everything in a pandemic, showing up.”

“I must say, this — if any year was the year to think about it, this was not the year to not hear their names live at the Oscars. This is the year to say it and say it loud. I have to advocate for all of us, as many of you that have a voice and that can say we should not do that. We should not do it here, we shouldn’t do it ever, but not this year. We are together in this.”

In the wake of del Toro’s comments, the Academy has clarified that all of the awards will be presented live in front of the audience in attendance, but that is unlikely to appease del Toro, who firmly believes in this year of all years, all contributors to the filmmaking process should be fully honoured.

Last year’s Oscars show earned the lowest-ever ratings score in the history of the ceremony, sparking fresh fears for the future of the awards as a mainstream cultural event.

Following last year’s continued slump, there are already concerns that this year’s ceremony will see an even greater downward trend in viewership. This year, the Academy has largely voted in favour of films like Coda, which whilst terrific, have not been seen by the bulk of wider mainstream audiences. This in turn is stoking the worry that this year’s event will see a further nosedive in interest. The awards that have been cut from the live show are: documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short and sound.

On a slightly different note, can we take a minute to appreciate Guillermo del Toro, perhaps by creating an ‘International GdT Day’? Not only are his films wonderful, but listening to the man talk about cinema is one of the greatest pleasures this world has to offer. Now, in characteristic fashion, he’s the filmmaker that has stepped up to speak out for his colleagues. Long may he continue.

The Hollywood Reporter

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