Steven Spielberg criticizes Oscars' decision to not present all awards live

Steven Spielberg
(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

Will the Oscars' controversial decision to not present all awards live get reversed for a second time? Steven Spielberg hopes so.

The legendary director spoke with Deadline about the Academy Awards' announcement that eight awards won't be handed out live during this year's ceremony.

"I disagree with the decision made by the executive committee," Spielberg said. "I feel very strongly that this is perhaps the most collaborative medium in the world."

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The Academy said last month that eight awards — documentary short subject, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short film, and live action short film — will be given out before the Oscars telecast begins, and the acceptance speeches will then be edited and placed into the show. But the announcement has sparked backlash from those who feel these "below-the-line" categories should be treated the same as all the rest, and Spielberg, who's nominated this year for West Side Story, agrees.

"I feel that at the Academy Awards there is no above the line, there is no below the line," he told Deadline. "All of us are on the same line bringing the best of us to tell the best stories we possibly can."

The Oscars previously floated this idea in 2019, only to reverse the decision after backlash. Pointing to this, Spielberg told Deadline, "I hope it's reversed, but I'm not anticipating a reversal and I am not optimistic about it."

Spielberg also said he has "tremendous respect" for Academy President David Rubin, who has defended the plan. Since the announcement, though, a report from The Hollywood Reporter suggested ABC may be more to blame for the situation than the Academy, as the network reportedly warned that if 12 categories weren't cut, it might cancel the Oscars entirely.

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