The Academy Awards are introducing an Oscar for actors, the ceremony's governing body announced Thursday, the first new category in more than 20 years.
Casting directors have been pushing the category for decades, arguing that their work is crucial to a film's success, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, has rejected the idea — until now.
A new category will be introduced for films released in 2025, meaning fans won't see the statue presented until 2026. The Academy is conservative when it comes to introducing new awards: the last category to be created is the Oscars. Best Animated Film, it was established in 2001. (It “went to Shrek”) In 2018, the Academy canceled the introduction of a new category for achievement in “popular” films after a backlash from the public and some Academy members.
Destiny Lilly, president of the Casting Society of America, said the society was formed in the early 1980s to help spur the award, a professional organization for those in the industry.
said Lilly, who was the casting director for “The Color Purple,” which earned Danielle Brooks a supporting actress nomination at the upcoming ceremony.
Academy created by A Branch As of 2013, the cast director currently has over 150 members. Lilly said the new branch allowed other Academy members to fully understand what casting directors do.
“It's an educational process, a building to understand what our contributions as casting directors are to the finished film,” Lilly said.
Two years ago, the awards show's recognition of off-camera, sometimes overlooked categories came as a shock when the Academy presented eight categories before the live telecast — including film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and production design. The decision was met with waves of criticism, saying the move suggested the Academy valued some filmmaking jobs more than others. The following year, the Academy's new presidents changed the curriculum and awarded all awards directly.
In a joint statement, Academy Chief Executive Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said, “Actors play a vital role in filmmaking, and as the Academy continues to grow, we are proud to add acting to the Academy. Sectors we recognize and celebrate.”
The academy's board of governors voted Wednesday to add the category.
A common argument against the casting award is the length of the ceremony: last year, the show ran for three and a half hours, and in 2002, it clocked in at four hours and 23 minutes.
The move puts the Oscars alongside some other award shows, including the Emmys. BAFTAs added the category for its 2020 ceremony, prompting calls for the Academy Awards.