When we look back on the biggest feuds of this awards season, it won’t be Kevin Hart versus apologizing, Green Book versus facts, or Jackson Maine warriors versus Bradley Cooper’s refusal to start using that Tom Ford bronzer again. It will surely be SAG-AFTRA’s surprise statement released Monday afternoon, calling out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science — a.k.a. the people who hand out the Oscars — for trying to be greedy with A-list talent who could present at both ceremonies. “SAG-AFTRA has fielded numerous requests to respond to assertions that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exerts extraordinary and unwarranted pressure on talent to hold them from appearing at other award presentations. We have received multiple reports of these activities and have experienced firsthand the Academy’s graceless pressure tactics and attempts to control the awards show talent pipeline,” the statement read. “Awards season is a very special time when actors and actresses are being appropriately celebrated and recognized for the outstanding quality of their work. We would expect the Academy to honor these goals.”
From the looks of SAG’s statement, it seems that actors have been presented with an ultimatum to choose which show they’d like to take the stage and present at. (“Essentially, they’re being told that if they present on another televised awards show, they won’t get to present on the Oscars,” an anonymous source told Variety.) “The apparent attempt by the Academy to keep our members from presenting on their own awards show is utterly outrageous and unacceptable,” SAG’s statement said. The guild asked the Academy to “cease this inappropriate action.”
Vulture has reached out to the Academy for comment, and we will update this post if we hear back.