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Taiwan director Ang Lee joins revolt against Oscars schedule

Four awards to be handed over during commercial breaks

Ang Lee and his 2013 Oscar for 'The Life of Pi.'

Ang Lee and his 2013 Oscar for 'The Life of Pi.' (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Award-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee (李安) has joined the ranks of Hollywood personalities protesting against the plans to hand out four Academy Awards during commercial breaks.

In an effort to shorten the February 24 Oscars ceremony hoping to win back viewers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced plans for the awards for film editing, cinematography, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling to be handed over while television viewers were watching commercials.

The plan touched off a wave of protests, with prominent directors, actors and other Hollywood leaders describing the change as an “insult” in an open letter.

The message has been signed by stars such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, and by directors such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Ang Lee was also mentioned as one of the signatories.

The Academy replied that the speeches of the winners in the four categories would still be broadcast, while at next year’s Oscars, there would be a rotation, with other awards being moved to commercial breaks.

The annual ceremony, now in its 91st year, lasted 3 hours and 53 minutes last year, and its length has been blamed for lukewarm viewership figures.