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TV executive defends decision to change show order of 2021 Oscars

TV executive defends decision to change show order of 2021 Oscars
/ Cover Media

A top ABC executive has insisted the confusion over the order of the final Oscars awards was intended to shake up what was otherwise a predictable prizegiving.

Long acceptance speeches and a revolving door of presenters turned the hybrid 2021 Academy Awards into a three-hour-plus yawn for some, and many were startled when the Best Picture Oscar was handed to Nomadland before the Best Actor and Best Actress honours had been announced.

Traditionally, the Best Picture prize is the final award of the evening.

But ABC boss Rob Mills has now revealed that producers wanted to befuddle viewers at the end of the prizegiving.

"It was not meant to end on somebody who was not present," Mills told Variety about Anthony Hopkins's surprise Best Actor win for The Father. "It was a calculated risk, that I think still paid off because everybody was talking about it...

"I think some people thought maybe they missed some awards: 'Why is Best Picture early?' or, 'What's happening, this is crazy,' almost like: 'How can this possibly happen? Best Picture has to end it!' Some people were upset, some people loved it and that was really the point - there was no apathy."

"It wasn't just the final categories," Mills added. "The whole show was mixed up. Screenplay, that usually comes in Act five or six, one of the later acts. And Best Director was also very early. I think the point was, sometimes you watch the show and you feel like, 'Gosh, I've seen this every year.' So, it really was the, 'Wow, I really don't know what's coming next.'"

Meanwhile, Chadwick Boseman's brother has dismissed reports suggesting his family was upset when the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star - a pre-show Best Actor favourite - didn't win.

Derrick Boseman told TMZ his late brother didn't have an obsession with winning an Oscar and would have been gracious in defeat.

"He (Chadwick) always described them (Oscars) to me as a campaign," Derrick said. "I'm sure Anthony (Hopkins) would (wish Chadwick all the best) if Chad won."


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