Awards show cuts time from all the wrong places.

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Even though the show must go on, cutting away from talent at awards shows is not the answer to save time.

By Meg Taylor, News Editor

Nowadays, award shows complain about a lack of air time, yet they feel as if they run all night. Their solution: cut off celebrities mid-acceptance speech and possibly eliminate categories from the telecast.

In the past 30 years, awards shows have gradually increased in run-time. For example, the Grammy Awards run closer to four hours in length which is a big jump from the traditional three hour ceremony. Given the chance, Hollywood would celebrate its success all day, but people lose interest in lengthy ceremonies which results in lower ratings.

The Academy Awards recently decided to present four Oscars during the commercial breaks this year. The categories being booted from the on-air ceremony include cinematography, film editing, live-action short, makeup and hairstyling. Many directors (Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino) and actors (Jon Hamm, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Jude Law)  protested the decision in a letter to the Academy.

The note states, "Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession. When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy's promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form."

Along with the letter, a fan petition going around that has gathered nearly 10,000 signatures to make the Academy broadcast all of the awards during the ceremony. The Academy reversed their unpopular decision and all categories will be announced on air; rightfully so.

The Grammys is the biggest night of the year for the music industry and the longest. This year’s ceremony featured tributes to Dolly Parton and Diana Ross, along with performances by Shawn Mendes, Miley Cyrus, Travis Scott and Jennifer Lopez. This awards show is about celebrating music and the artists behind the catchy tunes, yet instead of cutting out categories, they cut off artists during their acceptance speeches. Dua Lipa (Best New Artist) and Drake are two artists who were wrongfully cut off mid-thought.

Lady Gaga is one celebrity who openly fought back against the music tactic employed by awards shows to hurry and finish up an acceptance speech. Although Gaga is not the first celebrity to talk through this music, she was not going to let anyone take time away from her shining moment at this year’s Critics Choice Awards.

“It’s okay, I can still do this with a piano background,” joked Gaga. The audience unanimously laughed and applauded the popstar as she continued on with her acceptance speech.

There are many other solutions awards shows can employ to cut down their running time. For music shows like the Grammys, cap each artist’s performance to a limit of one song or a short medley of their hits. It is understandable to have a wide genre of artists perform at the Grammys. However, setting a limit on how many artists perform during the awards will help significantly with the pacing and overall time of the show.

Reducing time for presenters during film and television award shows can significantly reduce the time of the show. Celebrity appearances during awards shows increases views and ratings. However, presenters’ “skits” can take away time from the winners acceptance speeches. Instead of making it a performance, they should just present and move along.

Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC