×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HFPA President Weighs in on Oscar Changes: ‘They Have to Do Something to Keep the Viewers’

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association knows what it takes to put on a major televised awards show — they do it every year with the Golden Globes.

So, it’s no surprise that HFPA president Meher Tatna understands why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is shaking up the Oscar rulebook again.

“I feel for them,” Tatna told Variety on Thursday night at the HFPA’s annual grants banquet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “They have to do something to keep the viewers engaged and this is what they thought was a good idea.”

Lena Waithe agrees that it’s time to try some new things. “I think the Oscars have to change,” the Emmy winner said. “I think they need to change because the world is changing, audiences are changing, people are changing.”

Most of the stars who Variety chatted with at the banquet said they were confused by the Academy’s addition of the new popular film category.

“Is it based on money?” Connie Britton asked. “Is that how you judge popular? I don’t like that.”

Charlize Theron, Ted Sarandos and Connie Britton Hollywood Foreign Press Association Annual Grants Banquet, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Aug 2018

John Cho said it’s hard to formulate an opinion on the controversial new category because, “I don’t even know what that means. I’m waiting for a definition of what popular is. … I do think there is a lot of great filmmaking going on and stuff that we don’t consider arthouse cinema and that’s cool by me to recognize, but, popular, I don’t know what that is.”

Many Hollywood insiders are speculating that the popular category is meant to attract stars of blockbusters like “Black Panther” and other Marvel films to attend the telecast amid flagging ratings.

“I imagine it’s to get the younger viewers, the ones that don’t watch the small movies,” Tatna said. “I have no idea if it will work. We’ll have to wait and see.”

John Cho Hollywood Foreign Press Association Annual Grants Banquet, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Aug 2018

The Academy also announced that it would keep the Oscar telecast to three hours and that certain below-the-line categories would be handed out during commercial breaks.

Tim Robbins balked at the changes. “I think if you look at editing, for example, it’s absolutely an essential part of filmmaking,” the Oscar winner said. “A great editor can make a film amazing. Who is deciding what are the creative categories that should be celebrated in front of people?”

“I don’t mind the length of the Oscars,” Robbins added. “I think it should be looser. I don’t think it should be so regulated. It used to be a wild party.”

More Film

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

  • Les Miserables

    Ladj Ly's Cannes Prize-Winner 'Les Miserables' Is France's Oscar Submission

    Ladj Ly’s politically charged drama “Les Miserables,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, has been chosen by France’s Oscar committee to enter the international feature film race. In one of the most competitive years for French movies, “Les Miserables” beat out Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the 18th-century-set romance which won [...]

  • David Kehrl neuer Head of Acquisitions

    'Resident Evil's' Constantin Names Acquisitions, International Co-Production Chief

    David Kehrl is to join Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent movie producer and distributor, as the head of acquisitions and international co-production. He will report to Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the executive board at Constantin Film, which produces the “Resident Evil” movies. Starting in February, Kehrl will be responsible for the acquisition of international theatrical [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content