Sound Editors Are Planning a Silent Protest at the 2022 Oscars

The sound editors may be silent, but they will not be silenced. Variety reports that members of the sound branch intend to silently protest the Academy’s decision to give out the sound Oscar before the live telecast begins on Sunday. 

A source with ties to the sound branch told Variety that members of the guild will be wearing their guild badges upside down to silently protest the Oscars’ debasement of their craft and those of others.

“This weekend the Oscars may be turned upside down, as we may see winners from all categories accept their Oscars upside down in a silent show of solidarity with the eight affected categories. We are all filmmakers of equal importance,” said Cinema Audio Society president Karol Urban, suggesting that other branches of the Academy may join the sound branch in its protest.

In February, the Academy made the controversial decision to cut eight categories—film editing, sound, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, documentary short, animated short, and live-action short—from the live ceremony, and instead dole out those awards during its pre-telecast hour. Footage from the winners’ speeches will be spliced in throughout the telecast. The affected nominees and guild members were reportedly “insulted” by the Academy’s decision to cut the categories from the actual ceremony. 

The producer of the 2022 Oscars, Will Packer, has defended the decision to move the categories, telling V.F., “This is about extending the show so that we can give all these amazing craftsmen and women their due, and they’re all going to have it. And so I appreciate people who are passionate about the show and who have an opinion about the best way to adjust and change the show. I think changes needed to be made. You’ve got to shake things up.”

Along with the silent protest, more than 80 sound professionals, including 16 Academy Award winners, have signed a letter protesting the Academy’s choice to cut the sound award and others from the live telecast. The signers include three current Oscar nominees: The Power of the Dog’s Robert Mackenzie, Belfast’s Niv Adiri, and No Time to Die’s Paul Massey. 

You can read the full letter, which was published by Variety, below:

From: Sound Artists from around the world.
To: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC.

We are very saddened by the current world events and the troubled times we live in.
The decisions that people, businesses, corporations and world leaders have to make are really challenging.

We have to regroup and reevaluate all of our actions every day and every second.

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 of 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, we need to focus on what we contribute in common, not what divides us.

The eight categories not presented live are Documentary Short, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music Score, Production Design, Live Action Short, Animated Short and Sound.

We have lost many great artists in our times. Let’s not put these categories in the “In Memoriam” edited section of the broadcast show.

Sincerely yours, Sound Artists:
Carlos Solis
Steve Maslow
Michael Semanick
Michael Hedges
Myron Nettinga
Paul Massey
Ian Tapp
Dane Davis
Tim Cavagin
Jeffrey Perkins
Michele Couttolenc
Robert Mackenzie
Resul Pookutty
Carlos Cortés
Niv Adiri
Jaime Baksht
Skip Lievsay
Chris Scarabosio
Julian Slater
Martin Hernandez
Greg Russell
Jon Taylor
Bryon Williams
Will Files
Frank Morrone
Beau Borders
Jon Michaels
Frank Kruse
Brandon Proctor
Ryan Robinson
Odin Benitez
Brad Sherman
Michael Babcock
Mathew Waters
Andy Koyama
Scott Hecker
Mathew Iadarola
Frank Kruse
Wayne Pashley
Scott Hecker
Onalee Blank
Bruce Tanis
Harrison Meyle
Alexis Feodoroff
Andy D’Addario
Jeremy Pierson
Gustavo Borner
Alvin Wee
Dan Hiland
Todd Beckett
Doug Mountain
Jim Wright
Bryan Arenas
Mark Purcell
Rob Young
Fernando Bedoya
Todd Grace
Carlos Sanches
Josh Eckberg
Edward Carr III
Sean Madsen
Alec Rubay
Mark Fleming
Daniel Colman
Carlos Cuevas
Gregory Gerlich
Phil Lee
Geraldo Gutierrez
Sanaa Kelley
Stephanie Brown
Yuri Reese
Rick Santizo
Walt Newman
Daniel Vasquez
Jonathan Wales
Tracie Gallo
Gabriel Coll
Yoav Litman
David Bonilla
Carlos Bedoya

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