February 29, 2016 / 2:21 PM / 3 years ago

Oscar's new scroll: fleeting thank-yous and the promise of a puppy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They were supposed to free up Oscar recipients to say something profound during their 45 allotted seconds on stage.

Producer Michael Sugar accepts the Oscar for Best Picture for his film "Spotlight" with his fellow producers and cast at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTS8H4W

But the thank-you scrolls that ran at the bottom of the screen for the first time at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday didn’t noticeably curtail the winners’ shout-outs from the dais. Nor did they lead to an over-abundance of eloquent messages.

The scroll was a river of names flowing swiftly across the bottom of the screen, moving too fast for any but the most motivated readers to follow. Some nominees used only first names, others added surnames, too.

On Twitter, viewers were largely critical of the scroll, with some likening it to a school closure ticker or an emergency warning system, while others called it a distraction.

Comedian Paula Poundstone tweeted: “I hate the scroll at the bottom of the screen. It has no soul.”

Only one Oscar winner drew widespread social media raves for his scroll: Pete Docter, co-winner of the Oscar for animated feature film. He closed his list of thank-yous with a note to his children: “Nick & Elie - okay yes, let’s get a dog.”

When Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin won the award for makeup and hairstyling for their work on “Mad Max: Fury Road,” their list of acknowledgments concluded with a nod to cosmetics and skin care brands, including MAC, Cosmesis and Bluebird.

The scroll of Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala, winners of the best animated short film, included thanks to the Chilean government and Brooks Brothers.

But even when they’d thanked numerous people in their scrolls, the winners felt a need to thank their colleagues, spouses, children, parents, agents, studios and others from the stage as well.

As in other years, the show had its share of issue-oriented acceptance speeches.

“Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar, whose film about abuse in the Catholic Church won best picture, expressed hope that it would produce a choir of victims’ voices “that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

On receiving the best actor award for his work in “The Revenant,” Leonardo DiCaprio spoke of the need to address climate change, while Alejandro Inarritu, who won the directing award for the same movie spoke out against prejudice. DiCaprio was among the few who opted out of a scroll.

The scroll innovation appeared to have no effect on the length of the show, which as usual clocked in at about three and a half hours.

Additional Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Sara Catania and Mary Milliken

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