Oscars: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Truth About Why Producers Tried To Cut Alejandro Iñárritu's Historic Speech

Alejandro G. Iñárritu made Oscar history in a couple of ways Sunday night becoming the first director to win back to back Oscars in 66 years, and only the third ever to do it after Joseph L. Mankiewicz and John Ford. He also became the third Mexican director in a row to win (his victory last year for Birdman, and Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity), a true statement of diversity in a broadcast that basically pummeled the industry Pete Hammond badgeaudience with jabs at the mostly white nature of the nominees at the Dolby for much of its three hour and 36 minute running time. But this key winning moment became a complete embarrassment for the88thOscars_Key_Statuette-556x815 Academy as the show’s producers, who already had exhibited quite a trigger-happy finger on cueing the orchestra to cut off winners at 45 seconds, incredibly began to play Iñárritu off just as he was trying to make a key poignant point about his own path to this moment and the need to ignore questions of color and ethnicity in giving opportunities. Iñárritu would not let this happen and he fought against the rising strains of “Flight Of The Valkyries” to get just the kind of heartfelt moment into the show the producers, Reginald Hudlin and David Hill, had encouraged winners to make.

“I hadn’t even used all my time when they started to play me off.” — The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárittu

This was a real miss in an otherwise entertaining, at times even inspiring, Oscars broadcast that had some genuine suspense and surprises in the mix for a change. But that doesn’t excuse the shabby treatment of now four-time Oscar winner Iñárritu, and he was well aware of it when I caught up with him just as he entered the Governors Ball after the show. “I hadn’t even used all my time Leonardo DiCaprio Alejandro G. Inarritu Oscars 2016when they started to play me off,” he told me, growing a little agitated as we discussed the matter. He said he was determined to have his say and was clearly peeved that all the talk of diversity only seemed to be about African-Americans, with no mention from Rock or anyone else about Asians, Latinos and other minorities looking for help to follow their talent and dreams. He used the word “racism” to describe the tone of that aspect of the show. Former Academy President Hawk Koch told me he too was angry about the treatment Iñárritu received, while a current Governor also agreed it was something they needed to review.

Producer Hudlin, very happy at the Governors Ball, told me he was  pleased with how the show went overall, but after dancingScreen Shot 2016-02-28 at 8.44.05 PM a bit around my question about why they tried to play off Iñárritu he finally offered, “it was just one mistake in a three and a half hour show.” A pretty big one if you ask me, but stuff happens. One head of another major  organization felt Rock and company hammered home their points with a bit of overkill. “I doubt the audience tuning in was doing so to see this kind of barrage,” he said. Still, with the endless negative publicity the Academy has endured since the nominations it was inevitable.

With that aside the mood in the theatre was upbeat and no one seemed 100% sure just how things were going to turn out, as the first half of the show was so lopsided with Mad Max: Fury Road victories it appeared the George Miller epic might be staging an upset sweep against favored The Revenant.  But as I mused on Friday when I learned the screenplay awards would be

Josh Singer, left, and Tom McCarthy accept the award for best original screenplay for Spotlight
Josh Singer, left, and Tom McCarthy accept the award for best original screenplay for Spotlight
AP Images

presented first, there was a real possibility more Academy history would be made as Spotlight was a shoo-in to win the Original Screenplay award but likely nothing else until the Best Picture envelope was opened more than three hours later. At The Night Before benefit Saturday, I actually warned Spotlight producers Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust this could happen. That scenario did play out when presenter Morgan Freeman announced it as the Best Picture winner. It is the first time in Academy history that a movie won only the first and last awards handed out. It also became the first film since The Greatest Show On Earth to win Best Picture and only one other award. That was way back in 1953, the first year the Oscars were televised. In many ways this most unpredictable Oscars lived up to its advance hype with a lot of anomalies. Warner Bros and Village Roadshow’s Mad Max:Fury Road led everyone with six Oscars, followed by The Revenant with the trio of awards it was virtually guaranteed by previous Guild victories for Iñárritu at DGA,

Spotlight Tom McCarthy Michael Keaton Oscars 2016
Tom McCarthy, center left, and Michael Keaton, center right, accept the award for best picture for Spotlight.
AP Images

Cinematography  and Leonardo DiCaprio, who was heavily favored to win and did. In a year in which there was also a huge major studio presence in the nominations, it turned out upstart indies A24, with three big wins, and Open Road, with Spotlight, really made a mark. In fact Open Road President Tom Ortenberg told me he thinks his is the “youngest” company, at 4 1/2 years, to pull off a Best Picture victory. There were a lot of happy party goers at West Hollywood’s Palihouse, where the company held a viewing party and post-show celebration. One after another of the newly minted Oscar winners made grand entrances with their shiny statuettes as they descended the steps to a cheering crowd after first making the rounds at the Governors Ball.

A24 had much to cheer about also with its key wins for Brie Larson as Best Actress in Room,  Best Feature Documentary Amy and a surprise win for Ex Machina in Visual Effects. Company head Brie Larson 2016 OscarsDavid Fenkel was almost speechless when I caught up with him exiting the Dolby. Before the show, Larson’s mother and agent were among those thanking Deadline for its coverage of Room’s debut at Telluride over Labor Day, something they credit for helping send the film on its path to the Oscars where it was a Best Picture nominee. Larson even thanked Telluride directly in her acceptance speech, a first for the fest and probably upsetting to Toronto where it won the Audience Award after first playing in the Rockies. This can only help Telluride in further grabbing some plum awards contenders. (And kudos to Larson for mentioning several of the festivals, including Toronto, at the top of her acceptance speech.) Best Director nominee Lenny Abrahamson was hoping against hope for a miracle Best Picture  upset too but was thrilled with the recognition the film got.

Beyond the Spotlight and Room contingents at different areas of the hopping Governors Ball ,  DiCaprio led a large entourage (including actor/buddy Tobey Maguire) to the back of the room where a pizza was waiting for him after all the press he did backstage. When I congratulated him he said, “Hey I just want to eat. Let me eat!” as he grabbed a slice and talked to friend Benicio Del Toro  and longtime manager Rick Yorn. I had sympathy for him. They run these winners through a gauntlet. Charlize Theron and George Miller had no idea their Mad Max film was the night’s champ in terms of Oscars with a whopping six wins. Miller was getting a kick out of it, especially when his wife Margaret Sixel won one of them for Film Editing. Right after Alicia Vikander coming up the escalator to the Ball, Eddie Redmayne asked if he did alright presenting Best Actress. There with him was The Danish Girl director Tom Hooper, ecstatic about Alicia Vikander’s Best Supporting Actress win.  “She’s my third Oscar-winning actor in a row,” he said referring to previous wins for Colin Firth in The King’s Speech and Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables. “Has any other director ever done that?”  he asked. I will check on it Tom, but not tonight.

Although nearly everyone expected Sylvester Stallone to ride a Rocky wave of sentiment to a Best Supporting Actor win, Mark Rylance instead pulled off a small upset and took the prize for his absolutely brilliant performance in Bridge Of Spies, much to the delight of his director Steven Spielberg. “I am told I am only the second actor to win in a Spielberg movie after Daniel Day Lewis Mark Rylancein Lincoln, ” Rylance told me thinking Ralph Fiennes had also won for Schindler’s List, but he didn’t. Spielberg and Rylance  were having a great time at their table right near the entrance to the Ball and in fact were among the last to leave sometime after 11 P.M. Spielberg thanked me for championing the film (it was number one on my year-end top 10 list) but said he had just one regret about the movie. “I only wish Tom Hanks could have taken this ride with us,” he said, noting that Hanks was truly great in a subtle role. I offered that the kind of performance that Hanks gave is reminiscent of what Gregory Peck did in To Kill A Mockingbird but flashier roles seem to carry the day now at the Oscars.

That’s not the case though with Rylance, who asked the director if his win would help the film (which opened in October) financially. “Maybe with the DVD,” Spielberg mused. Rylance has to head back to New York to continue his newmark_2714776a play, Nice Fish in for a limited run through March 27 off-Broadway. When I suggested his Oscar win will definitely help the box-office there, Spielberg corrected and said it’s already completely sold out.  Rylance told me he got the day off to come to Hollywood. “Normally I would be doing two shows today,” he said. His next film is Spielberg’s The BFG, in which he plays the title role of the Big Friendly Giant. The Roald Dahl story has a screenplay from Spielberg’s E.T. writer Melissa Mathison (who sadly passed away and was actually part of this year’s In Memoriam reel). The film opens July 1 but Rylance hasn’t seen it yet.  “I  haven’t shown it to him, because it is still in post-production,”  Spielberg said .

Although there were stories of extra tight security this year, I didn’t notice any difference as this was a very smoothly run operation, even with Vice President Joe Biden in the house to introduce his “friend” Lady Gaga to perform her nominated song, “Til It Happens To You.” Sadly she and 8-time Oscar bridesmaid Diane Warren lost to Sam Smith’s James Bond song “Writings On The Wall.”  Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 11.10.37 PMBiden though was happily holding court and taking pictures with anyone who asked in the upstairs area of the Govs Ball before most went on to Vanity Fair and other soirees around town. Biden wasn’t the only one adding a political touch to the proceedings, as many took the occasion to push a cause — including an impassioned plea from DiCaprio on Global Warming. Politics aside, overall I would say this was a fun Oscar show, smartly paced with some great comic bits by a terrific Chris Rock, who lived up to all the hype and pressure on him to perform. Some of his taped bits were priceless , including a visit to a

Ennio Morricone Oscar Winner Hateful Eight

Compton movie theater where nobody has heard of Spotlight, Bridge Of Spies OR The Danish Girl. Hmmmm. Even if this was a reboot of a similar bit he did when he hosted in 2005, it still killed, as did a piece that re-cast white movies with black actors in the leads. And I have to say the real highlight of the show for me was in the tumultuous standing ovation for 87 year old The Hateful Eight Best Music Score winner Ennio Morricone. He seemed overwhelmed with this long overdue win for a true maestro.
Cheryl-Boone-Isaacs-OscarsI am betting the Academy and President Cheryl Boone Isaacs is happy to have this Oscar show in the history books.  She told me she was just happy she didn’t trip on the long walk out to make her remarks on diversity and what the Academy is doing to bring it about. That job, including a purge of the membership rolls and a doubling of minorities and women, starts now. Okay, maybe Tuesday.

  1. If Alejandro Inarritu had a key poignant point about his own path to this moment, why couldn’t he start it at the 20 or 30 second mark? Sorry, but I agree with cutting him off. We see this all the time at awards shows. The person making the speech has some touching or “important” thing to say, and they wait till 5 seconds before their time is up to start what’s going to be a minute long ramble.

    How many of these rambles are we supposed to listen to in a show that runs over 3.5 hours? They all know they have a time limit. He should have planned it better.

    1. The time should be longer for the most important most publicized awards; best movie, director, actors, cine.
      And they’re always last on the show and rushed for time. By that time everyones sic of hearing people talk about themselves. Leo was horrid narcist.omg. He wins everyday he gets hired for big money so try and be gracious about an award that could have gone to many others just as deserving.

      1. “And they’re always last on the show and rushed for time.”

        They’re NEVER rushed for time. The folks at the end always talk more than those earlier. And they shouldn’t. They already get far more money, perks, and attention than anyone earlier in the show. If Alejandro Inarritu wants to go on and on about equality and his path to fame, you don’t think he could get a dozen talk shows to give him airtime?

        When it comes to speeches, everyone should be treated fairly and equally.

          1. I think you meant to say the writers. Without a films’ authors, the directors would have nothing to shoot.

        1. Rocky was not robbed. Sly didn’t deserve it. Never believed in karma until Oscar night.

    2. Listen D, he was the ONE nominee in a major category that was a minority, and arguably the best living director of his generation. YOU DON’T CUT HIM OFF…period. He had something important to say and trying to hear his words over lame orchestra music was pathetic on behalf of the producers and whoever directed the show. What idiot made that mistake. They make this big point of how they are taking on diversity and then totally screw it up the moment that diversity triumphs. I was outraged as well as the other guests at our home. Does anyone have a brain anymore? Kudos to Mr. Innaritu for having such class in the way he handled it. Just feeling that some cleaning house needs to be done at the Academy itself to actually get a group in there that knows what they are doing, to handle things with grace and class. Mr. Inarritu, you’re a legend, and you have so much respect of your peers and colleagues in the industry. Thanks for being above it, and congratulations on your much deserved award.

      1. Are you kidding me? He should get special treatment because he is a minority? I can only hope that was a joke post.

    3. They cut him off before his time was up. Whoever made that decision is tacky and rude. I’m glad he kept talking anyway and said what he wanted to say.

      I think they cut him off because he doesn’t fit the narrative about minorities.Oscar is so racist and white but a Mexican man won Best Director two years in a row? Hmm? Maybe the truth is that if you’re at the top of your game, regardless of color, you will get work and even win Oscars. That’s the truth, he’s proof of it, and that’s why they tried to cut him off.

      1. Very respectfully, it’s not true that they cut him off before his time was up. They didn’t start the music until nearly 10 seconds *after* the standard 45 seconds everyone gets were up, and they never really cut him off – the music wasn’t loud and it ended before his speech did, and they kept the cameras close on him until his entire 1 minute 47 second speech was over. FWIW, he didn’t start talking about diversity until 20-25 seconds after the music started. If curious, see my post that lists the actual timing.

  2. Chris Rock showing his homophobia, misogyny, and racism.

    Every time gay men or women kiss, whether it’s BROKEBACK, whatever it is, Chris Rock has to make a 12-year-old boy joke about it. Then there’s “not eveything is sexist.” And Asian jokes.

    The guy isn’t that smart. He’s just kind of the same dork, the same vicious homophobe we’ve come to see. He just set the perception of black people back a bit. It’s gross.

    1. You are so correct. Chris Rock’s insulting and highly unnecessary “Father Figure” joke aimed at Sam Smith was highly homophobic. Basically Chris Rock was saying that gays are interchangeable and look alike in his eyes. And Chris Rock’s interviews of black people who only know “Straight Outta Compton” and had never heard of the other “white” movies like “Spotlight” and “Bridge of Spies” says much about black people’s taste and limited cultural awareness outside of their own vortex.

        1. Charles is absolutely right, when I saw that bit, I just thought, well there’s nothing to be proud about for them, he actually just showed thei ignorance of people being interviewed, how much they are uninterested in “white movies” as they called them.

      1. ‘says much about black people’s taste and limited cultural awareness outside of their own vortex.’
        You do know that the (97% white) Academy’s defence for only nominating white actors was that those were the only movies they saw?

    2. If one black person can set the perception of black people back in a viewer’s mind, then they must be the only black person the viewer knows, which means either
      A)the viewer lives somewhere where there are no black people, or B)the viewer is already a bigot.
      That’s the only way you can judge a billion people by the actions of one. And in both options, Chris Rock’s tomfoolery is irrelevant.
      If it’s A) They’re probably never going to meet a black person so they’re misguided opinion hurts no one,
      if it’s B), His behaviour just provides confirmation bias, buttressing a belief they already held dear.

    3. All I heard is “Whaaaaaaa!! I don’t like his jokes so he must be a homophobe, sexist, etc.” Grow up, seriously. Get over yourself. You’re a nobody, and Chris Rock doesn’t give a single f*** about your opinion of him.

  3. I thought Rock was funny, but it was overkill. I bet a lot of people after a while turned it off. His jab at Jada was the best line for me.

      1. Totally unnecessary and used up precious time! Was he trying to copy Ellen’s hilarious pizza delivery man tip segment? If so, he failed miserably.

    1. The show should be renamed awards for ‘art house films’. For the past 5 yrs it’s been basically nothing but nominations for the weird and unseen movies.

      1. Yeah, if only highbrow, quality entertainment like the Transformers franchise would sweep the Oscars. Christ, get real-there’s nothing “weird” or “under the radar” about these films; people discover them, not on shitty DCP’s, but at home

      2. Well, maybe if the studios stopped only making movies for 12-year-olds, they might get back in the game. You want a popularity contest, go watch The People’s Choice Awards.

      3. Many many analysts have said that no one watched this oscars because no one had seen any of the movies. And. That the oscars that had nominations of popular movies like avatar were hugely watched because people wanted to see these stars from the movie that they saw. Just sayin. Isn’t it obvious????!!!!!??!!!

  4. I agree with the lack of diversity in 2015 & 2016 nominees, but as Mr. Innarritu said, it’s just not with black actors, but all other races. I thought Chris Rock’s emceeing was very good, but the evening-long black race issue was definitely overkill and got to be cringe-worthy. Ok, enough already, we get it. Point made, over and over again. As Ms. Issacs said, they are working on fixing the problem. As many of the winners acknowledged in their acceptance speeches, there are many other huge global issues to address NOW. I understand that producers need to cut speeches to fit their time slots, but it was rude and unnecessary to cut off Mr. Innarritu and Mr. DiCapio, among others for whom this is the most important night of their lives and careers. If they wanted to stay within their time frame, they should have limited Mr. Rock’s onstage time as well as his interview of theater goers (bombed) and the Whoopi piece (funny but again overkill). Instead, this time should have been given to the winners and to the in memoriam spot which has historically left out stars we have lost due to “time restraints). Unacceptable! Who knows, it they had done all that, they might have even ended the show with time to spare.

    1. how about the disproportionate amount of black players in basketball and football? Oh, you say, its talent…aha.

      1. Yes – see what happens when talent is the key? But unlike Hollywood, the sports world doesn’t primarily hire people based on how they look or to fit a certain look or stereotype. Do you not know how casting goes down in Hollywood or are you just faking ignorance?

        1. Actually casting is mostly about a look. That’s the most basic function of actors, to look like the characters they are portraying. You wouldn’t select DiCaprio to star as Obama in a biopic.
          Athletes on the other hand are just aren’t selected for looks. They are selected for skill/talent at whatever sport they are playing. That’s why nobody complains, except sarcastically,

    2. The new producers made a mistake not editing rocks opening. He rehearses they knew it was rambling sure it was hilarious but everyone got the point after one or two jokes. They should have produced a better opening and opening monologue. Use a committee use a test audience use the people off the street to test material. The cameramen probably could tell them, they’ve heard everything from everybody.

  5. I find it somewhat ironic that during a ceremony smudged with controversy about race, the producers often chose Wagner to play people off stage.

    1. Yeah Rock was a over kill .If he just kept it a little classer.And he usually does but it was like the first time black people got a bad deal.

    2. We’ll come in low out of the rising sun. About 45 seconds out, we’ll put on the music. (Music?) Yeah, we use Wagner. Scares the hell out of the award recipients. My boys love it.

  6. Leo needed his pizza: “I had sympathy for him. They run these winners through a gauntlet.”

    Wow. Sycophantic much? #InsideTheBubble

  7. The issue of racial inequality in Hollywood is a complex one. On the one hand the industry is shfiting it’s focus from the America’s to overseas with each passing year. Asians & Europeans could care less about this issue. As more roles are written with them in mind, black roles will be further downsized.
    On the other hand, Disney, Warner, & Sony seemingly don’t care. FOX Searchlight proved a black film can be both award winning & highly profitable with 12 Years A Slave. That film got to $188M WW powered by foreign BO. They will put forth every effort to get Birth of a Nation over $200M. It shouldn’t be their burden to put such a film out every year. The others need to share the load. They don’t all have to be divisive. Racial harmony films can work too.

  8. Let’s remember this is a telecast of an industry event. Viewers are invested via a box office purchase or fan favoritism. Sure, I want entertainment and find many Oscar shows boring. Yet, I am a movie fan and appreciate how hard it is just to get a project considered for production. And, yes, there are a lot of people not to like in the film industry – just like life in general. Overall I appreciate how much pleasure film has given me over the years and the many escape moments I still get at the movies.

  9. The black overtone of this awards show was well deserved but at some point, it became overkill. For him to reference police killings on this show was too much and I know many who simply tuned out and turned off. Rock did the what he thought to be the best balance of comedy and social injustice, the problem is those two stances rarely coexist. Everyone knows the movements within the fabric of our country today, just idle down the saturation after your point has been made

  10. Why was Decaprio allowed to spew the “climate change” lies? The climate changes naturally, remember something called the “ice age” this guy is an actor, who cares what he believes.

      1. And the award for the blue state hater obviously goes to you. You know this is a “red state” comment because? Look at the name. Here’s a good guess: It’s a troll poser trying to get a rise. You bit.

    1. Oh dear. Do you think perhaps someone should have run up to Leonardo and yanked away the mike? Or perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed to spew your opinions on science? Though, since you say “who cares what he believes”, it’s a miracle you even worked up the urge to comment on something nobody cares about.

  11. Oh really, Alejandro?? So when Sean Penn makes a “where’s your green card” joke at you at the Oscars, you find it hilarious and not racist. Your movies cast no African-Am, Asian-Am, or even Latino-Am actors. I’ve never heard of you speaking out on the need for diversity of roles for all these groups before, but now you want to throw out the term racism? Sure. Have a seat with Stacy Dash.

    1. OK. OP here. The title is clearly divisive click-bait. I should’ve known to watch the clip of his speech first (I didn’t watch the telecast). The music started playing while he was still thanking people BEFORE he went into the diversity commentary. Once the music started, he pivoted to the diversity talk realizing his time was up. The music wasn’t loud or deafening as it has been for others who’ve “gone over” on awards shows. He appeared able to complete his statement in a manner that drove the point.

      Regarding whatever was said off camera, I can’t judge as it is hearsay. Based on the mischaracterization of what happened onstage, I’m not inclined to believe the perception presented in this article. Whether someone is upset, or nervous, or excited can be a subjective assessment. If Alejandro said something like “it’s not just about African-Americans but about Latinos and Asians as well,” that can be complaint to some or to others merely an expounding. The reporter says he used the term “racism” but there is no video, quote, or context, so we don’t know what Alejandro was referring to or what or who the implied source of racism was.

      In mentioning Rock and Hudlin the reporter implies that they are the source of the “racism” and/or intentionally snubbed Alejandro and/or Latinos, Asians out of racism. When it comes to these matters, many people have a tendency for deflection at best or passive-aggressive instigation at worst. I’ll leave it at that for now.

    2. Idiot. Kikuchi Rinko got an Oscar nom for Babel. You’ve obviously never seen the incredible Amores Peros, either.

  12. I have a question about Chris Rock’s remarks about Paul Giammati. Didn’t he mean to say Michael Fassbender? Paul didn’t star in “12 years a salve” Michael did. Didn’t Chris Rock get the names confused?

  13. Either thank your exhaustive list of people we don;t know, or make a political point, but you know you have 45 seconds in total, Respect the process.

  14. Rock didn’t mention the
    Hispanic or Asian community because they haven’t spoken up. Diversity effects all people of color, but black people are the only ones speaking up. That’s why we get recognized. If those other communities were just as vocal you’d see more of a mention. HAVING SAID THAT, Alejandro should’ve been given more time to drive home his point which was just as important.

    1. Asian people are freely stereotyped in Hollywood movies. There is a lot to say about the very specific roles Asians are allowed to play, but, as you say, I think they haven’t gotten ticked off enough yet.

  15. I didn’t time his speech but I think he, not all, should have been allowed a little extra time if needed. But there was a policy about time limits and if the Academy had not pushed those time limits, that show would have gone on an hour longer. Happy he made a point of diversity for all. The producers erred this year with black overkill. It was okay to deal with the elephant in the room but then it should have been on with the show as usual and let all enjoy it. The awards are for entertainment and should be just that, not an area for social injustice. Allowing Rock to make that comment about cops killing blacks was totally wrong.

      1. For a controversial Oscars 1 minute over is ok from a back to back best director. Rock monolog was too long.

  16. We need president Trump to stop these Mexicans from stealing Oscars from hard working Amurican directors!!!

  17. There was a very simple solution last night: Sasha Baron Cohen and Sarah Silverman — both of whom were painfully unfunny — should have been cut and their extra seconds given to Inarritu. I was much happier listening to him! For the past few years the regimentation of the Oscars due to time constraints has removed all spontaneity and emotion from the ceremony — acceptance speeches are so rehearsed to avoid exceeding the allotted time that it’s like watching a collection of bank tellers at their annual convention, albeit with better clothes! Bring back the old days — part of the fun of watching the Oscars was complaining about how long the show was!!

  18. I was more shocked over Inarittu’s hook than I was over Kate Capshaw. Here the man made Oscar history, and any producer or director of the show would know he was going to make a speech about Mexicans. And to serenade him with Wagner? I thought the musical selections were tasteless – I wanted to here themes from the winners’ films. I think it was racist and/or clueless – if Spielberg made Oscar history, they wouldn’t have given him the hook. And the “international stars” giving out the foreign film award? And short people giving out shorts? Didn’t this go out with the Jerry Lewis hosting years? And, where was Abe Vigoda, who co-starred in the most famous movie every made?

  19. While it’s easy to sympathize with how Iñárritu felt in the rush of the moment, the fact is, the show treated him better than suggested here.

    The rule for everyone was 45 seconds. He spoke for a total of 1 minute 47 seconds. (A good speech, IMO.)

    The music didn’t start until 54 seconds into his speech — giving him nearly 10 extra seconds.

    And even then, the show’s director and producers chose not to raise the volume of the music too loud or lower his mike’s volume, so he could be heard clearly over it. They also respectfully chose to keep the cameras close on him until he finished, rather than cutting away to the sweeping wide shot oft used when cutting someone off.

    Iñárritu didn’t begin clearly referencing diversity until ~25 seconds after the music started (1 minute 19 seconds into his speech), when he mentioned the lead character’s mixed race son. (Or ~19 seconds after the music began, if you count his prior comment that “many others haven’t had the same luck,” even though it wasn’t yet evident what he was getting at.)

    The music stopped at 1 minute 42 seconds, after which he spoke another several seconds and finished his speech in its entirety, without the camera leaving him. Nobody missed a word.

    Knowing that the rule was 45 seconds, he could have delivered his important message at the top (especially since this year’s goal was to leave out names to thank, keeping that to the screen text winners submitted). But in fairness, the overwhelming emotions of the moment can understandably make any plan fall by the wayside.

    His point backstage was even more important: about how all this talk of diversity should really be more, well, diverse.

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