I'm happy to say that last week, the Academy has backtracked and announced that as a result of a vote by the Academy board, they will not be giving that award. Sanity prevails!
The Los Angeles Times had a long article on the decision, which you can read here, full of the background and comments from many Academy members. It includes a bunch of clueless quotes from Academy president John Bailey, who shoots himself in the foot several times, most notably where he states –
“I’m not afraid to say this: If it had been my decision as president, this award would have been in place for the 2019 Oscar telecast. [On the board] you’ve got 54 alpha-type people that are highly creative, highly motivated — it would be absurd to say it was unanimous. But clearly there was a majority and we honor that. It’s a democratic process.”
First of all, the fact that the Academy board is made up of "alpha-types" is not, I am certain, why the decision was made. It was made because it was a terrible, mind-numbingly bad idea, and the smart people on the board with common sense understood that. In addition, that the vote was not “unanimous” (or as we learned this week Trump would say, “unamanush”) is utterly meaningless, since the vote could have been a nail-bitingly close 28-26…or 51-3, with Mr. Bailey and two pals supporting him the only holdouts.
In the end, something very rare in Hollywood occurred -- good sense won the day.