The Oscars have a new idea for stopping the endless, boring speech

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette gives her speech after winning the supporting actress Oscar last year for “Boyhood.” This year’s ceremony will included a new feature: a text scroll that will appear under winners as they speak.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

How much do you hate the music that the Oscars orchestra plays when a winner’s acceptance speech runs on too long?

Now the producers of Sunday’s telecast may have found a way around those awkward play-offs.

David Hill and Reginald Hudlin, the first-time producers of the ABC telecast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, say they are going to try a new feature that will scroll the winners’ thank-yous across the bottom of the screen while they are speaking. The idea is to give each speaker more time to blab about something other than how their agent always believed in their dream. 

OSCARS 2016: Full coverage | List of nominees | Ballot


“There’s going to be a lot of experimentation,” Hudlin explained in a Friday segment on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Some of it may work; some of it [may not] work.”

We are going to go out on a limb and guess that not many viewers will be eager to read an endless scroll with such thrilling lines as, “And thanks to Mom and Dad for paying for my acting lessons!” But maybe Hill and Hudlin will figure out how to pepper some show-biz razzle-dazzle in there. 

Meanwhile, the producers are planning to mess with the order in which the prizes are handed out. Such details are a tightly kept secret. Unlike the Grammys -- which feature almost wall-to-wall performances -- the Oscars are really a parade of winners to the podium, so the prize order tends to get fussed over.


#OscarsSoWhite: Full coverage of the boycott and Hollywood’s reaction

“We’re gonna mix it up,” Hudlin said. “I want people to watch and be surprised.”

Hudlin insisted that the #OscarsSoWhite controversy -- centered on the fact that zero people of color were nominated in the acting categories -- had little impact on their planning.

“We wanted a show that looked like America,” Hudlin said. But “most of our booking was done before the nominees were announced.”

But that doesn’t mean that host Chris Rock won’t have a field day with the diversity controversy.

“He’s got so much material,” Hudlin told ABC. “We have no idea what he’s going to do.”

You can see the interview here.


Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT


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