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IATSE President: Put All Academy Awards Categories On Equal Footing

LOS ANGELES, CA — Leadership of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the largest union representing behind-the-scenes workers in North America, expressed its disapproval of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision to broadcast eight awards categories on a non-live basis. Of the eight categories to be aired retroactively as part of the Awards Broadcast on March 27, more than half are specific to crafts the union represents, including Film Editing, Make-up and Hairstyling, Production Design, Animated Short, and Sound. 

IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “By the nature of our jobs, behind the scenes, workers get little recognition as is, despite being the backbone of every production. The Academy Awards has been virtually the only venue where the very best on and off the big screen, above and below the line gather to honor each other’s incredible contributions through their crafts, inspiring millions who tune into the TV Broadcast in the process. We believe a deviation for some crafts and categories but not others is detrimental to this fundamental purpose. 

While the Academy made accommodations to include these categories in the broadcast, our position remains that the awards should put all the positions that make pictures possible on equal footing. If the winners walk away with the same trophy, then the winners deserve the same recognition. I urge the Academy to reconsider.” 

President Loeb issued a similar call in 2019, when the Academy canceled plans to move four categories off the live broadcast after widespread pushback from the industry.

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 160,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

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