When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it was banning ads during the Oscars live telecast, people freaked out. Advertisers and Nielsen executives at the time were extremely upset, because it meant both that the $1.5 million they were spending on TV ads wasn’t worth it and that revenue from these ads wouldn’t be counted toward awards show profit, the Associated Press reported.

The Academy reversed the ban a couple of months later and has appeared to mellow on the issue, and Monday was not an example of that. Instead, it approved a message by the Casting Society of America that — in a sharp departure from its previous stance — joked about the issue of ads during the broadcast.

More than a minute in length, the message starts with the face of actor Samuel L. Jackson, who speaks of that time in his career when commercials would interrupt his shows on HBO and Fox for the same infomercials. So, he asks, “Does this announcer say the same thing over and over?”

He then goes on to discuss his belief that “God wanted us to watch the Oscars” and “blur the lines” between reality and self-image.

It ends with a picture of the awards ceremony broadcast.

The announcement also let the Creative Artists Agency know that if the academy wanted to return to the ad ban, it would rewatch the organization’s action on the 1994 Academy Awards, and “dive into more hours of traffic footage to find exactly where things went wrong.”

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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