The Oscars are facing more backlash for the decision to omit eight awards from its live show – and Steven Spielberg adds his voice.

Last year’s Oscars telecast 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. In an effort to win back audiences, it was announced last month that the Academy has chosen to omit several awards from this year’s live show, instead reverting to a format that it planned to trial a couple of years ago where several awards will be filmed before the live broadcast then edited into the live tranmission in a condensed form.

Legendary director, Steven Spielberg is the latest high-profile filmmaker to speak out against the changes, telling Deadline ““I disagree with the decision made by the executive committee. I feel very strongly that this is perhaps the most collaborative medium in the world. All of us make movies together, we become a family where one craft is just as indispensable as the next. I feel that at the Academy Awards there is no above the line, there is no below the line. All of us are on the same line bringing the best of us to tell the best stories we possibly can. And that means for me we should all have a seat at the supper table together live at five.”

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.

Spielberg would go on to take umbrage with the awards selected for omission, arguing: “When I look back and I think without John Williams, Jaws would wear dentures. With West Side Story, when Tony is singing Tonight with Maria, without [Production Designer] Adam Stockhausen he would be singing it on a step-ladder and she would be on the scaffolding, all this on an empty soundstage. Without film editing all my movies would still be in dailies. We all come together to make magic, and I am sad that we will all not be on live television watching magic happen together. Everybody will have their moment in the limelight. All the winners will be able to be shown with their acceptance speeches, but it’s the idea that we can’t all be there”.

Spielberg, who is up for Best Director, as well as Best Picture for West Side Story,  joins Guillermo del Toro and others in speaking out against the planned revisions.

With the ceremony happening later this month, there’s still time for a U-turn from the Academy, but having planned a permanent change of this kind before a few years ago before ultimately bowing to pressure and reversing, this time they seem to determined to see it through. We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.

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