For those Oscar nominees whose eight categories are sidelined in a pre-show, it’s a slap in the face, but for Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, it’s just business.
Asked by Deadline on the red carpet his thoughts on eight categories being pre-taped before the live telecast, Sarandos responded, “I think it’s a step toward making it a better broadcast.”
“So there’s five or six different constituencies this show serves, and one of them is a TV audience, and this is a real positive step into making it a better TV experience,” he added.
Netflix counts the most Oscar nominations at 27 with a plethora of them in the sidelined categories of Film Editing, Documentary (Short Subject), Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Short Film (Animated), Short Film (Live Action), and Sound. Sarandos then interjected this afternoon, “I don’t mean that in any way to say that the work being done in all those categories is less important: They’re in the show, they’re presented in front of live-room, it just allows the producers to make a tighter show.”
As of this report, trophies are being handed out to eight categories and pre-recorded; the winners will then be revealed during the live telecast.
Deadline also asked Sarandos his thoughts on Disney’s controversy with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Florida bill.
“It’s not that close to us, we don’t have employees in Florida, so really not that abreast of it,” answered the streaming czar.
When asked if he thinks employees should be able to speak out on political issues affecting them, Sarandos, who weathered his own backlash in defending Dave Chapelle’s transphobic statements in the Netflix special The Closer, answered, “Absolutely, I think it’s important that you provide a platform, their people are heard, for sure, absolutely.”
Sarandos had initially sent two internal emails defending Chappelle back in October, arguing that content like The Closer does not “directly translate to real-world harm.”
The special and Sarandos’ comments were met with criticism by Netflix transgender employees, who held a company walkout in protest, and by LGBTQ+ Netflix talent, including standup comic, Emmy winner Hannah Gadsby. One employee was fired over the leaked information about The Closer while three others who had spoken up about it internally were suspended and then reinstated.
In an interview with Deadline following the situation, Sarandos bowed his head and said, “First, right upfront, I screwed up the internal communication — and I don’t mean just mechanically. I feel I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should’ve recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through. I say that because I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should’ve recognized that first.”
Watch Deadline’s Oscar 2022 red carpet feed here.
Ted Sarandos on Netflix at the #Oscars: "It's a real point of pride." pic.twitter.com/CX4sFFgfBE
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 27, 2022
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