Ten-time Oscar-nominated songwriter Diane Warren wasn’t thrilled when she heard the original report that the 2019 Academy Awards would only feature two out of the five original song nominees.
“I was like ‘Come on, really?’ That’s not really the fair thing,” Warren, who is nominated for her song “I’ll Fight” from the documentary “RBG,” told Variety’s Marc Malkin at the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.
Originally, the Oscars planned to only spotlight “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” and “All the Stars” from “Black Panther.”
After a public backlash, the Academy announced that Jennifer Hudson will sing “I’ll Fight,” while Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will perform “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” The Academy also reported “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” will be sung by a surprise guest. However, reports suggest a brief, 90-second format may be necessary to have time for all the songs.
“They came to their senses,” Warren said. “It’s either do all the songs or don’t do the songs. I don’t think it’s fair to choose two. I’m glad that they decided to include all the songs, as they should—all the songs got nominated.”
The Oscars air live on Feb. 24 on ABC.