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Jason Blum Applauds Oscar Changes: ‘They Took a Step in the Right Direction’

Despite the uproar following the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ announcement of rule changes on Wednesday, producer and Blumhouse founder Jason Blum is applauding the new moves.

“I know it was a very hard thing to do politically, and I commend them for doing so,” Blum told Variety at the “BlacKkKlansman” premiere on Wednesday night, held at The Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. “The Academy Awards have to be entertaining to watch, and I really think they took a step in the right direction with this.”

However, Blum isn’t sure what to make of the new contentious category of outstanding achievement in popular film. “I think that remains to be seen,” Blum said.

“Get Out,” produced by Blum, was up for best picture this year.

“BlackkKlansman” director Spike Lee, a frequent critic of the Academy, declined to comment on any of the changes. “I just heard about that this morning,” he told Variety. “I don’t know much about it.”

The Academy had to issue a clarification to its initial announcement later in the day, noting that films would be eligible for both best picture and the new popular film category, not just one or the other. But the criteria has still not been decided upon, leaving many in the dark as to how they should react.

Fellow producer Raymond Mansfield, who produced “Get Out” with Blum, said he also approved of the changes the Academy is making to the broadcast in light of its recent low ratings.

“You don’t want them to reach a state where it’s all complacent and irrelevant and nobody cares anymore,” Mansfield said. “I applaud the exercise of trying something new. I’m an advocate of that.”

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