IATSE President Blasts Oscar Telecast Exclusions: ‘We Demand That the Academy Reverse Course’

The president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees blasted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its decision to not televise four of the awards.

Matthew Loeb condemned the decision on Wednesday in an open letter, two days after the announcement that four categories — cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and make-up and hair styling — 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 to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.

“By denying four categories — three of them below-the-line — their equal share of television coverage, the Academy displayed a complete absence of the kind of creativity their awards celebrate,” Loeb said. “IATSE members, including cinematographers, editors, and hair and makeup stylists, are the core of any motion picture production. They create the iconic scenes and looks that make this medium so memorable. Without their work, none of the most-beloved films in Hollywood history would have been possible.”

Loeb also demanded the academy reverse its decision.

“It is an insult to the hardworking women and men of all below-the-line crafts to push these nominees and winners out of the spotlight,” he added. “We demand that the Academy reverse course and treat all categories with the respect they deserve.”

IATSE represents about 140,000 below-the-line employees — including technicians, artisans, and craftspeople — in the entertainment industry.

Kees van Oostrum, president of the American Society of Cinematographers, slammed the academy on Tuesday on behalf of the 390-member ASC.