In a big change, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have decided that winners for eight categories will be presented off air during the 2022 Oscars. On Tuesday, a letter was sent to nominees and Academy members informing them of the change that is intended to improve the dwindling viewership numbers of the Oscars broadcast. The 94th Academy Awards will begin an hour earlier to present eight awards categories -- Documentary Short, Film Editing, Make-up and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Animated Short, Live Action Short, and Sound -- before the live telecast starts.
The presentations for these categories will be included later in the live broadcast, reported Variety. "After carefully listening to feedback and suggestions from our film community, our network partner, and all those who love the Oscars, it was evident we needed to make some decisions about the broadcast that are in the best interest of the future of our show and our organisation,” Academy President David Rubin wrote in the letter.
"When deciding how to produce the Oscars, we recognise it’s a live event television show and we must prioritise the television audience to increase viewer engagement and keep the show vital, kinetic, and relevant. This has been an important focus of discussion for quite some time. We do this while also remembering the importance of having our nominees relish a once-in-a-lifetime experience," he added.
Rubin acknowledged that the move could invite a backlash but he stated that the goal was to "find a balance in which nominees, winners, members, and viewing audience all have a rewarding show experience".
"Moving forward we will assess this change and will continue to look for additional ways to make our show more entertaining and more thrilling for all involved, inside the Dolby Theatre and watching from home," he added.
This is not the first time that the Academy has attempted at bumping categories from the live broadcast. In 2018, the organisation had announced similar changes but had to retract them before the ceremony after a huge backlash from the public as well as branch members.
Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall will host the 94th edition of the Academy Awards, which will be held on March 27.