Academy says a new Oscar for stunts is a ‘possibility’

The CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said there is a “possibility” a new Oscar will be introduced to recognize stunt performers.

A campaign for a Best Stunt Oscar has been underway for several years, with stunt performers protesting outside the Academy Awards ceremony in 2016.

The movement has gained traction in recent months, with Ryan Gosling adding his voice after playing battle-scarred stuntman Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy.

“This movie is just a giant campaign to get stunts an Oscar category,” Gosling joked at the premiere. “We are the face of these films, but the crews really make the movies, and this is a love letter to them.”

In a new interview with Empire, Academy CEO Bill Kramer revealed that the organization is taking the appeal seriously.

“We’re talking to members of the stunt community who are Academy members about the possibility of that,” he said. “We added a new award that will launch in two years for Casting Directors, so we’re always open to those discussions.”

Ryan Gosling as battle-scarred stuntman Colt Seavers in ‘The Fall Guy’ (AP)
Ryan Gosling as battle-scarred stuntman Colt Seavers in ‘The Fall Guy’ (AP)

Academy President Janet Yang added that the organization is in a period of flux. “The Academy is like a living, breathing organism,” said Yang. “We listen to our members, and if there’s really strong support and there’s whole mechanisms for how to advance the cause, and they’re interested… That’s what happened with Casting. We’ve created new branches over the decades. So it does evolve, and it evolves with the changing industry.”

In 2016, protesters delivered an online petition signed by more than 46,000 people to then-Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs calling for greater recognition for stunt performers.

“They are the ones literally putting their lives on the line for the glory of getting that thrilling and breathtaking shot,” read the petition. “Those are the shots that are used to promote the movies, driving people into the box offices to see those carefully designed action sequences. If you have ever enjoyed a movie, held your breath during an impossible leap from a building, been thrilled at a high-speed chase or clung to the edge of your seat when good and evil fought it out on the big screen, then please sign.”

Jeff Wolfe, Emmy-winning stunt coordinator and president of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures, said in a statement at the time: “For almost 90 years the Film Academy has blatantly discriminated against stunt people and their contribution to the medium we all love and literally bleed for.

“There are no colour lines or gender lines here. Stuntwomen and stuntmen of all walks are affected by the disregard of their significant contribution to the films we watch. After all, what would most movies be without the action?”