Words Words Words

And the winner is...the crackdown on Oscar speeches...

At the annual Oscar nominees lunch, the producers of the Academy Awards telecast announced that nominees will be asked to submit their full list of “thank you” recipients in advance of the ceremony. The move is designed to allow producers to scroll names beneath the screen so that Oscar winners can use their allotted 45 second speeches for other purposes, and is designed to avoid prize recipients being unceremoniously “played off” by the orchestra at inopportune moments.

I’m curious to see how this plays out…what happens if the list of “thank you” recipients runs longer than the allotted amount of time it takes for the winner’s speech? What happens in the case where a group of people win the award? This is a live broadcast - guaranteed there will be a mix up along the way i.e. posting the wrong "thank you" list, running the list before the winner is announced or not running the list at all. And really, are any viewers going to bother reading the scrolling script??? Not to mention, the pressure is now on these winners to come up with memorable and entertaining speeches to cover off their 45 seconds at the mic. Let's face it, I’m pretty sure that job will get outsourced to more qualified writers. So the enjoyable, genuinely heartfelt and often impromptu speeches of the past will be no more, replaced by a bunch of prefab mumbo jumbo designed to be not only politically correct but also make the winner seem both reasonably coherent and relatively charming. I truly feel bad for the individuals who have likely worked so long to achieve success and are now being told they don’t have the opportunity to provide verbal recognition where it is legitimately due. What happens if these speeches turn into 45 second plugs for a certain charity or cause? Or, if taken to the extreme, perhaps those 45 second slots become a giant advertising/sponsorship opportunity. MEH. At the very least, I expect this move will shorten the broadcast duration of the event which is a good thing, but to what end? We’ll see how it goes on February 28.
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