Russell Crowe, Guillermo del Toro among those criticizing Oscars for cutting 4 categories from telecast: 'Fundamentally stupid decision'

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The Academy Awards continue to generate bad press.

With less than two weeks to go before the big night, the host-less awards show is being bashed about the announcement of four categories — cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling — that will be presented during commercial breaks this year. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the academy’s board of governors approved the plan to reduce the 24 categories during the telecast months ago, but it has just been made public which ones will be omitted on Feb. 24.

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Russell Crowe, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón are disappointed in some Oscars being handed out during a commercial break. Many others are speaking out. (Photo: Getty Images)

While academy president John Bailey tried to downplay the move — explaining that the winners’ speeches will air later in the broadcast, the speeches can be viewed in their entirety online and the categories may rotate each year — the decision, especially about the cinematography award, had been ripped by those in the biz. Russell Crowe, an Oscar winner for 2000’s Gladiator, called it a “fundamentally stupid decision” and “just too f***ing dumb for words.”

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Screenshot: Russell Crowe via Twitter

Guillermo del Toro, the Academy Award-winning director of 2017’s The Shape of Water, wrote in a since deleted tweet that cinematography and editing “are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”

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Screenshot: Guillermo del Toro via Instagram

Director Alfonso Cuarón, who won best editing for 2014’s Gravity, wrote, “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”

Alec Baldwin, a nominee for 2003’s The Cooler, wrote, “To hand out these awards in such a flagrantly dismissive fashion is unconscionable. Cinematography? An afterthought? The Academy keeps sinking lower and lower w these ideas.”

Seth Rogen wrote, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s job it is to literally film things.”

To which Josh Gad replied, “Agreed. Not quite sure why the Academy Awards seems to hate the Academy Awards this year.”

Here were some more from Academy Award nominees, including Joss Whedon and Jennifer Tilley:

And others in the industry:

Even Monica Lewinsky commented:

And Andy Richter seems just about done with the Oscars at this point.

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Screenshot: Andy Richter via Twitter

There has been a lot of drama around the Oscars, perhaps the biggest being Kevin Hart being named host, then stepping down after past homophobic jokes he made resurfaced. The show will go without a host — the first time in 30 years, barring an eleventh-hour change. 

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