Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro became the first director to openly speak out about the Academy’s decision to make changes to the live Oscar ceremony on March 27.
Del Toro, who was awarded the Filmmaking Achievement Award at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards on Monday, delivered a speech in front of an audience including Denis Villeneuve, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon M. Chu and Sian Heder. During his remarks, he recognized the collaborative efforts of filmmaking, saying, “We do them together and people make them with us. They risk everything and make the day a miracle.”
Del Toro then called out the Academy and their decision to pre-tape several artisans awards and edit them into the live broadcast. The awards for documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short and sound will be handed out at 4 p.m., before the ceremony. Del Toro commented on the”If any year was the year to think about it, this is not the year not to hear their names live at the Oscars. This is the year to sing and do it live.”
Speaking to the pandemic, Del Toro said more than anything, as storytelling animals, “We need shelter, food, medicine and stories.” He added, “2021 was a fucking great year for movies.”
Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” is up for four Academy Awards, including best picture, cinematography, costume design and production design.
He is not the only one to decry the decision. In a statement, the American Cinema Editors said, “We are deeply disappointed by the Academy’s decision to alter the way certain categories, including film editing, will be presented in the Oscars telecast.”
The statement continues, “It sends a message that some creative disciplines are more vital than others. Nothing could be further from the truth, and all who make movies know this. As a group of artists wholly dedicated to advancing the art and prestige of film editing, we passionately believe that editing — and all other creative disciplines that are part of the collaborative art of filmmaking — should be treated equally. Our contributions to that collaboration may sometimes appear invisible, but they are undeniable. We hope that film editors and other artists affected by this change will be honored and celebrated with the passion, dignity and inclusion they deserve.”
The Set Decorators of America also condemned the decision, saying, “We are all diminished by this action.”
Watch del Toro’s full speech below: