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Hollywood legend Al Pacino, who didn’t name all the 10 nominees for Best Picture at the recently held 96th Academy Awards before announcing the winner, has issued a clarification detailing what led to the awkward moment on stage.

He issued a statement amid questions surrounding his appearance during the 2024 Oscars ceremony, where he awkwardly presented the best picture category, reports ‘Variety’. The actor, who won an Academy Award for best actor in ‘Scent of a Woman’, simply opened the envelope and said, “And my eyes see ‘Oppenheimer’”, at the award ceremony.

“There seems to be some controversy about my not mentioning every film by name last night before announcing the best picture award,” Pacino said in a statement. “I just want to be clear it was not my intention to omit them, rather a choice by the producers not to have them said again since they were highlighted individually throughout the ceremony. I was honoured to be a part of the evening and chose to follow the way they wished for this award to be presented”.

He further mentioned, quoted by ‘Variety’, “I realise being nominated is a huge milestone in one’s life and to not be fully recognized is offensive and hurtful. I say this as someone who profoundly relates with filmmakers, actors and producers so I deeply empathise with those who have been slighted by this oversight and it’s why I felt it necessary to make this statement”.

Oscars producer Molly McNearney also told Variety in an interview after the Oscars that “it was a creative decision” not to have Pacino list all 10 Best Picture nominees before announcing the winner.

The creative team was “very worried that the show was going to be long” and clips from all 10 Best Picture nominees had already played throughout the ceremony.

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