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Al Pacino ‘Ruined’ Oppenheimer’s Best Picture Win On Purpose, Oscar Producer Explains

When Al Pacino announced the Best Picture at the Oscars without mentioning the nominees, people were not happy. The Oscar producers later said they asked him to do it this way.

At the 2024 Oscars, Al Pacino’s way of announcing ‘Oppenheimer’ as the Best Picture winner sparked controversy. However, Oscar producer Molly McNearney recently told Variety that this was intentional and part of a broader strategy.

In response to the controversy, McNearney and Walt Disney TV alternative head Rob Mills shed light on the reasoning behind the decision. As it turns out, the primary concern was the ceremony’s length:

“It was a creative decision we made because we were very worried that the show was going to be long. By the time you get to the end of the show, you’ve seen all ten best picture clip packages. People just want to hear who wins, and they’re pretty ready for the show to be over. At least, that’s what we anticipated. So, we did not give him a clip package. We did not give him nominations to read.”

McNearney then apologized for any confusion caused and the situation Pacino found himself in.

What Happened During the Ceremony?

Pacino took to the stage to present the final and most anticipated award of the night. Instead of following the traditional format of listing the nominees before announcing the winner, he went straight to revealing ‘Oppenheimer’ as the recipient, saying:

“Here it comes… And my eyes see… ‘Oppenheimer.'”

As this wasn’t the expected procedure, it led to an immediate backlash from fans and critics, who felt that the moment lacked the usual respect and anticipation associated with the announcement of the night’s biggest award.

Following the ceremony, Pacino issued an apology, clarifying that his decision not to mention each film by name was in line with the producers’ instructions. Apologizing to those who felt overlooked, Pacino stated the following:

“There seems to be some controversy about my not mentioning every film by name last night before announcing the Best Picture award. I just want to be clear it was not my intention to omit them but rather a choice by the producers not to have them said again since they were highlighted individually throughout the ceremony. … I realize being nominated is a huge milestone in one’s life, and to not be fully recognized is offensive and hurtful. … I deeply empathize with those who have been slighted by this oversight. That’s why I felt it necessary to make this statement.”

Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the Oscars, later commented on the incident with humor, saying Al Pacino has probably never watched an awards show before.

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