Steven Spielberg voices his disapproval over Oscars changes

Steven Spielberg
Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios

After Denis Villeneuve and Guillermo del Toro both blasted the Academy for their controversial decision to pretape eight categories and exclude them from the live telecast in the 2022 Oscars, another filmmaking legend has spoken out in support of the production designers.

As Steven Spielberg recently explained to Deadline, this decision could create an inadvertent division among production crews.

“I disagree with the decision made by the executive committee. I feel very strongly that this is perhaps the most collaborative medium in the world. All of us make movies together, we become a family where one craft is just as indispensable as the next. I feel that at the Academy Awards there is no above the line, there is no below the line. All of us are on the same line bringing the best of us to tell the best stories we possibly can. And that means for me we should all have a seat at the supper table together live at 5.”

What Spielberg says is fundamentally true, though there’s no denying that actors and directors have hogged the limelight for as long as there’s been a film industry. The Oscars, and any other award ceremonies of the same nature, exceptionally celebrate other creatives who are usually involved in this process, but with the decision to exclude so many of them from this year’s live telecast, the Academy is sending a crude message.

Spielberg says that he isn’t too optimistic about the Academy backing down from their decision this time, noting:

“The same thing came close to happening three years ago and at the eleventh hour a decision was made that reversed it and four categories that were in the commercial breaks were reinstated on the live show. I hope it’s reversed, but I’m not anticipating a reversal and I am not optimistic about it.”

The 94th Academy Awards is scheduled for March 27, so we’re still a while away from the “eleventh hour.” Let’s hope that they heed these legendary directors and do the right thing.