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Image / Editorial

Award season drama: SAG Awards accuse Oscars of ‘intimidation’ of celebrity presenters


by Jennifer McShane
15th Jan 2019
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Award season wouldn’t be award season without some literal drama going on behind the scenes. From Kevin Hart’s non-apology to the Green Book controversy, there’s already been a couple of very public spates had, the latest, however, is one that has taken the public by surprise.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been accused of “intimidation” by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

Related: Lady Gaga gives Kevin Hart a lesson in the art of apology 

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA has claimed that an “extraordinary and unwarranted pressure” is being placed on their members to appear on stage at this year’s Oscars without previously presenting at this month’s SAG awards.

Given that the Academy Awards will be without a presenter this year following Heart’s stepping down after a series of homophobic tweets were discovered, the producers have been aiming to secure a range of top celebrity presenters for the ceremony, apparently to make up for the notable lack of a presenter.

Related: The Oscars will reportedly go without a host for the first time since 1989

One or the other

It seems, however, that celebrities are being “pressured” to attend the Oscars while not attending the SAG awards with the same presenting duties, thus having to choose one award ceremony over the other.

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exerts extraordinary and unwarranted pressure on talent to hold them from appearing at other award presentations,” the SAG statement continues.

“We have received multiple reports of these activities and have experienced firsthand the Academy’s graceless pressure tactics and attempts to control the awards show talent pipeline.

“This self-serving intimidation of SAG-AFTRA members is meant to limit their opportunities to be seen and honour the work of their fellow artists throughout the season. Actors should be free to accept any offer to participate in industry celebrations.”

“The apparent attempt by the Academy to keep our members from presenting on their own awards show is utterly outrageous and unacceptable. The SAG Awards supports their union’s operations and important charitable assistance programs that provide valuable support to performers.”

“We call on the Academy to cease this inappropriate action.”

The Academy has yet to respond to the accusations.