Why you may see some category winners hold their award upside down at the Oscars tonight
Some may use their award win as a way to protest against the Academy
It's the biggest night in the film calendar, but there is set to be an undercurrent of discontent at tonight's Oscars.
After last year saw the Oscars register their lowest ever viewing figures, with just 10.4m viewers watching at home.
Because of this, the Academy have decided to introduce a number of measures to boost the appeal to television audiences
The most controversial of these is the decision to cut the so-called "below-the-line" categories from the live television broadcast.
The nominees for shorts (live action, animated and documentary), editing, score, hair and makeup, sound and production design will all be seated in the ceremony hall an hour before the televised show, and will be given their awards off air.
This is in a bid to "keep the show vital, kinetic, and relevant."
But it has attracted criticism from several big names in the industry, who argue that these so-called "below-the-line" categories are just as important and deserve just as much attention as awards such as Best Director and Best Picture.
Official letter from AMPAS President Dave Rubin on the announcement of the categories that won't be in the live broadcast: Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Animated/Doc/Live Action Short Film and Sound.#Oscars pic.twitter.com/6tnaHVTpOB
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) February 22, 2022
The argument goes that the Academy Awards shouldn't be concerned about viewing figures, as the Oscars should simply be focused on celebrating those in the film industry.
Directors Steven Spielberg and Jane Campion, and actress Jessica Chastain have all criticised the decision to cut these awards from the televised show.
Karol Urban, president of the Cinema Audio Society (CAS), said the move would "fracture the filmmaking community" by "keeping invisible art invisible".
She said: "It's hurtful to some nominees in some categories but more than that it's divisive.
"It fractures the filmmaking community because we are all filmmakers.
"The Oscars is a magical night and it's a night when the public really takes a look and notices different aspects of filmmaking that are incredibly impactful but perhaps invisible to the viewer.
"It's heart-breaking in that aspect and it's very damaging in that aspect."
CAS says the move has turned the awards "upside down."
So, in a show of solidarity, award winners and those on the red carpet may turn their guild badges upside down or hold their Oscar upside down when they go up to collect it.
Variety reports that sound artists at the ceremony will be wearing their badges upside down,
In a letter signed by dozens of sound designers, engineers and mixers and sent to the Academy, they say: “As a community of sound artists, we respectfully disagree and are opposed to the changes that are being made for the broadcast of the 94th Oscars ceremony.
"Every film is greater than the sum of all the parts and it only gets made by the joint effort and contribution of all the people involved in creating movies.
“We all make films together and we need to focus on what we contribute in common, not what divides us.”
Meanwhile, Chastain, who is up for the Best Actress award for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, has said she will be showing her support for her hair and makeup team by leaving the red carpet early to watch their category being awarded, Sky News reports.
So if you are watching tonight (or more likely, catch clips of the winners tomorrow morning) don't be confused if you see winners holding their Oscar upside down - it's a very deliberate act.
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