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How the Oscars Plan to Cut Down on Lengthy Acceptance Speeches

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Getty Images

Oscar winners usually fritter away the slim allowance of time allotted for their acceptance speeches with expressions of surprise over how heavy the statuette is, frazzled confessions that they were so certain they wouldn’t win that they didn’t even write a speech, and a rambling list of thank-yous starting with Mom and Dad and working all the way down through to the key grip who who was able to find coke on location. These all get in the way of the memorable stuff, the personal or insightful or poetic material that future Oscar ceremonies will quote during montages set to sweeping string music, but at least the thank-yous are vital. Your agent will almost certainly stop taking your calls if you don’t shout hr out while accepting the highest honor for American screen acting.

Yesterday, at the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization pulled back the curtain on a new innovation designed to streamline acceptance speeches. In their report from the luncheon, Deadline noted that telecast producer David Hill will implement a new policy in which the thank-yous will run on a ticker at the bottom of the screen during each acceptance speech, ostensibly freeing up the winners to say something a little more profound. For instance, when Leonardo DiCaprio inevitably wins the Academy Award for Best Actor, our screens at home will flash “Leonardo DiCaprio would like to thank the following:…” as he reminds us all that he slept inside a horse and ate bison organs and got frostbite on the tip of his penis or whatever.

Hill attributed this change to an unfortunate mix-up during last year’s ceremony, in which producer Dana Perry was cut off while accepting her Best Live Action Short award. Just as the woman began to explain the significance of the short to her as a mother to a son who had taken his own life, the orchestral swell ushered her offstage in an incidental gesture of extremely poor taste. Now, instead of knocking down the obligatory thank-yous and running out the clock, winners may progress straight to the “You like me! You really like me!”s, and the like.

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