Media And Entertainment
Oscar Casting directors have been fighting for a new competitive Oscar since at least the 1990s, and the Academy is now introducing it in a highly rare move.
The Oscars are introducing a new category for the first time in over 20 years. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences declared on Thursday that, after decades of petitions, the institution will at last honor casting directors during its annual awards ceremony. The Oscars will present a yearly, competitive Academy Award for success in casting starting with the 2026 ceremony, which means that the award will be given for movies released in 2025.
Since the 2002 introduction of the animated-feature prize, this is the first newly established category. You would have to go all the way back to 1981, the inaugural year of the Oscar for cosmetics and hairstyling. The governors of the Academy generally oppose any and all additions.
Indeed, the governors had already considered and eventually rejected a casting-award idea back in 1999. However, as of 2013, casting directors comprise a separate division of the Academy, and other award organizations, such as the Emmys, acknowledge this profession. In 2014, casting director Jeanne McCarthy of Anchorman and Eileen told Vanity Fair that the arguments around the matter were not fair, saying that it's a collaborative process that depends on the casting director's gut feelings, much like when a costume designer brings a set of designs to a director. It's an essential component of making movies.