By Julie Miller, Vanity Fair
Every year at the Academy Awards, a gorgeous, anonymous woman in an evening gown holds each Oscar statuette as a presenter reveals the winner, claps Vanna White-like during the winner's acceptance speech, and then gracefully guides said winner offstage. This year, in an attempt to ensure that "everyone appearing on that [Oscar] stage [feels] a deep commitment to film and its legacy," host Seth MacFarlane and the Academy will replace the leggy models with film students. An interesting development, and also, for the Oscar-bearing models, a subtle insult! Who is to say that they aren't deeply committed to film and its legacy as well?
The announcement was made when MacFarlane crashed an undergraduate film-and-television class at U.C.L.A. earlier this week. (The college cameo was not just a dramatic way to reveal the news; it was also part of an MTV series in which celebrities act as guest lecturers, the A.P. reports.) There, the Family Guy creator announced the "Oscar Experience College Search," which allows college students over the age of 18 to apply by submitting a 30-second video in which they explain how they will contribute to the future of filmmaking. In February, at least six college students will be selected as official Oscar Bearers based on the aforementioned application video and flown into Los Angeles for the awards show.
A quick read-through of the fine print for the contest reveals that winners will receive round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, hotel accommodations, a $250 meal-and-clothing allowance (let's hope that isn't supposed to cover evening gowns/tuxes), and transportation to and from the airport. There is also a confidentiality clause, which notes that winners of the contest may be privy to top-secret information, like who will win the Oscar, and should not, you know, post that information on their Facebook walls.
So far, the contest, which is designed in part to lure a younger viewership to the award show, has attracted Facebook responses as varied as "sweet!" and "This is going to be awesome." and multiple variations of "this link isn't working." While college-aged readers craft their perfect Oscar Bearer application video--which should not, according to the Academy, feature the nudity, gang symbols, and use of illegal drugs that they may have originally planned--everyone else, please let us know how you feel about this change-up in the space below. And more specifically, how important are the leggy Oscar Bearers to your Academy Award viewing experience?
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