The Academy knows that people complain about the Oscars being too long, so it’s cutting eight awards from this year’s live broadcast. Instead, the awards for Best Documentary (Short Subject), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Short Film (Animated), Short Film (Live Action), and Sound will be announced and recorded at the Dolby Theatre an hour before the Oscars’ live telecast begins, and then edited into the live show.
In a letter addressed to its members, Academy President David Rubin clarified that the eight cut categories would be presented at the actual Oscars, not at a pre-show or on the red carpet. Instead, the award ceremony — set for March 27th — will simply begin an hour earlier than previously scheduled to allow for the recording.
“To be clear, all the nominees in ALL awards categories will be identified on-air and ALL winners’ acceptance speeches will be featured on the live broadcast,” Rubin wrote. “Every awarded filmmaker and artist in every category will still have the celebratory ‘Oscar moment’ they deserve on the stage of the Dolby, facing an enrapt audience.”
The Academy has long struggled to balance entertaining the public — who usually only cares about the awards for best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, and best supporting actress — with properly honoring all the individuals who keep the industry running.
This year’s decision to pre-record eight awards follows the organization’s 2018 proposal to present select categories during commercial breaks, then air the winning moments later in the ceremony’s broadcast. Controversy within the industry led the organization to walk back the move at that time.
The 94th Oscars ceremony will be broadcast on ABC on March 27th. Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall are pulling triple duty as the ceremony’s first hosts since 2018, with each comedian set to get an hour to herself. Here’s hoping, with these changes, they stick to that time limit.