The Alliance of Women Film Composers condemns the Oscars for the Cut category

The Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC) has released a statement condemning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision not to broadcast the Best Original Score category live at this year’s Academy Awards. .

The Academy first confirmed its decision to feature multiple Oscar categories outside of the March 27 live stream on Tuesday, via a letter from President David Rubin that was sent to Academy members. The letter explained that these awards would instead be presented an hour before the ceremony on camera, with excerpts from the speeches being incorporated into the television broadcast. Other categories outside of the score that will not be awarded live this year are Documentary Shorts, Animated Shorts, Live Action Shorts, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, production design and sound. The decision generated instant controversy among industry veterans, with the Guild of American Film Editors issuing a public statement condemning the decision.

The AWFC statement, which is signed by core members of the alliance, including President Catherine Joy, expresses disappointment in the Academy for cutting the original score and seven other categories from the live broadcast, saying the decision sends a message that the work people have recognized in the categories doesn’t matter. While the letter acknowledges the Academy’s desire to streamline the ceremony, it urges them to find a way to do so that still respects the artisans essential to filmmaking.

“Moving the price out of the live stream and changing it will downgrade the importance of this category,” the statement said. “What message does this decision give to young people who dream of becoming a composer, of following in the footsteps of composers like Hildur Gudnadóttir, Rachel Portman, Anne Dudley and Germaine Franco? We think it sends the message that music doesn’t matter for the Oscars.

The statement also notes that this year’s original score category marks a milestone with the inclusion of Franco, the first woman of color nominated as a composer at the Oscars and the first woman in history to score a feature film. from Disney. The statement stresses that Franco’s victory could be a historic moment. By not broadcasting it live, the Academy would diminish its impact. The statement also references past wins in the original score category, such as first black winner Jon Batiste for last year’s ‘Soul’ or third female winner Hildur Guðnadóttir for 2019’s ‘Joker’. as previous examples of inspiration and important moments that would have been erased had the Oscars not included them in the live show.

The AWFC was established in 2014. Since its inception, it has grown to include over 550 members worldwide. Read their full statement below:

The Alliance for Women Film Composers is extremely disappointed with the exclusion of the Score Composer category and the other seven categories which highlight an inclusive range of creative artists embedded in the filmmaking process.

Best Original Score nominee Germaine Franco makes history this year as the first woman of color ever nominated in this category and the first woman to score in a Disney feature film. One thing we’ve seen throughout the history of the Oscars is the power of representation. It can change lives and inspire future creatives. Last year, Jon Batiste, who won best original score for the animated feature “Soul,” was only the third black composer to win the original score category after Prince and Herbie Hancock. The fact that historic moments like this are hidden from the Oscars broadcast is a great shame.

In 2020, Hildur Guðnadóttir won an Oscar for Best Original Score after sweeping the awards circuit. A quote from her acceptance speech, seen in full on the show, appeared in the LA Times and many other publications the following day and continues to inspire people around the world: “To the girls, to the women, mothers, daughters who hear the music bubbling inside, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.

Wouldn’t it have been a shame if that moment was deleted and we didn’t see Gal Gadot, Brie Larson and Sigourney Weaver present the award for Best Original Score, Highlighting Female Art? If we hadn’t seen Hildur being announced as an Oscar winner, her emotional reaction, her stepping onto the stage, and her full, never-before-seen acceptance speech, it would have robbed young people everywhere of an inspiring moment.

And that’s what the Academy is trying to do this year. Removing the price from the live stream and changing it will lessen the importance of this category. What message does this decision give to young people who dream of becoming a composer, of following in the footsteps of composers such as Hildur Gudnadóttir, Rachel Portman, Anne Dudley and Germaine Franco? We think it sends the message that music doesn’t matter for the Oscars.

The Alliance for Women Film Composers hopes that AMPAS will revise its decision and give all categories equal importance so that the nominated creative artists are seen and heard by audiences around the world who strive to have their voices heard at the future. Music is important to people all over the world – and we hope AMPAS gives it the importance it deserves!

We implore the Academy to streamline awards while prioritizing inclusive representation and celebrating all categories.

Sincere friendships,

The Alliance of Women Film Composers

Catherine Joy – President
Sharon Farber – Vice President
Esin Ozlem Aydingoz – Secretary
Thomas Mikusz – Treasurer
Allyson Newman – Membership and Outreach Director

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