“It feels like a long time coming,” said Lilly, who was the casting director for “The Color Purple,” which scored a supporting actress nomination for Danielle Brooks at the upcoming ceremony.
The Academy created a branch for casting directors in 2013, which currently includes more than 150 members. Lilly said the new branch allowed for other Academy members to fully understand the extent of what casting directors do.
“It was an education process, a building of understanding of what our contributions are as casting directors to a finished film,” Lilly said.
The award show’s recognition of off-camera, sometimes overlooked categories was the subject of consternation two years ago when the Academy presented eight categories — including film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and production design — before the live telecast. The decision was met with a wave of criticism asserting that the move communicated that the Academy valued some moviemaking jobs more than others. The next year, the Academy’s new leaders reversed course and gave out all of the awards live.
In a joint statement making the announcement, Bill Kramer, the Academy’s chief executive, and Janet Yang, the Academy’s president, said, “Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate.”