A few years ago, Slate imagined a myriad of ways to make the Oscars infinitely better, while also soliciting input from readers. Among them was the proposal from user John Sternfeld for a scroll: “Thank yous should run across the bottom of the screen, CNN-like, during the acceptance speech. Every nominee submits their thank you list beforehand on disc and then when they win, it starts running.”
Well, Sternfeld is in luck! Academy Awards producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill have announced that this year’s telecast will indeed feature such a scroll, and at the annual nominees lunch on Monday, guests were asked to list the names of the people they wish to thank. As Hudlin and Hill pointed out, the change will help to give more time for winners to say what they’d like to say aside from name-checking. This will be especially useful when multiple people win the same award: As Entertainment Weekly reported, Hudlin and Hill pointed to Best Short Documentary winners Dana Perry and Ellen Goosenberg Kent for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1. The former had only a few seconds following Kent's thank yous to hurriedly relay her very personal connection to her work—her son’s own suicide.
This is also ostensibly a way to reinforce good will within the industry: With the new implementation, colleagues and family members alike who are connected to the winners and expecting to be thanked will no longer have to worry about being forgotten. (Though I guess if you still don’t see your name on the scroll, then you’ll know where you and that Oscar winner really stand.) Sylvester Stallone must be breathing a deep sigh of relief right about now.