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Cinematographers Guild Chief Slams Academy Awards Exclusion: ‘It Is Humiliating’

Steven Poster, national president of the International Cinematographers Guild, blasted the academy’s decision to shorten four awards from the live Oscar broadcast, including the cinematography prize.

Poster, whose union represents more than 8,000 members, said the decision is “humiliating” for the winners. He joins a growing chorus of opposition, including high-profile cinematographers and directors, like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Roger Deakins. They have expressed strong objections to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ move to not televise four of the awards — including cinematography, editing, hair & makeup, and live action short.

Poster made his statement on Thursday, three days after the announcement that the four categories would not be broadcast live, but presented in a delayed and edited version during the televised Oscar ceremony on Feb. 24. AMPAS made the decision in order to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.

“This decision is extremely disheartening,” he said. “As Matt Loeb, international president of the IATSE, said, ‘these below-the-line crafts including cinematographers, editors, and hair and makeup stylists, are the very core of movie-making.’ I immediately reached out to Academy president John Bailey, a member of our own guild, who assured me that all of the nominees would be ‘noted’ during the broadcast. It’s not the same. This is a collaborative process and this change appears to elevate certain crafts above others. People wait their entire  lives to receive an Oscar in front of millions and it is humiliating to have that moment reduced to an afterthought.”

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