An overwhelming majority of Academy members have signed a petition to increase the number of Best Picture nominees next year to fifty, which they believe will increase the number of free DVD screeners that Hollywood studios send to their homes. Thousands of relatives and friends of Academy members, who relentlessly ask to borrow member’s screeners during award season, also signed the petition.
“I wanted to see Tom Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher,’ but not enough that I was willing to pay to see it in theaters,” an Academy member told Hollywood & Swine. “But definitely enough to watch a free screener if it was delivered to my house.”
Critics of the petition claim the Best Picture race has already been watered down by the Academy’s decision four years ago to raise the maximum film nominees eligible to ten, and the move to fifty would only lower the bar of mediocrity for Hollywood even more.
“The worst thing about having fifty Best Picture nominees is that it’s going to make Judd Apatow that much more disappointed when his next film doesn’t get nominated,” said a member of the Director’s branch of the Academy, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The petition’s critics have also pointed out that fifty Best Picture nominees would extend an already too-long Oscar telecast to an estimated nine hours. Academy members quickly countered this argument by suggesting the Oscar telecast could save time by eliminating the less interesting award categories including Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film, which won’t be missed since nobody watches those screeners anyway.
This year’s Academy Awards host Seth MacFarlane has come out in support of the petition, citing the unlimited Hitler jokes he would be able to get during next year’s nominations announcement the extra time fifty nominees would give him.
In related news, Academy members also expressed their outrage from news that the United States Postal Service will no longer be delivering screeners on Saturdays.