From our at-home view of last Sunday's Academy Awards, there was a really lengthy shot of Penelope Cruz when Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem took the stage and danced their way to the microphone. This seemed to be more than just a reminder of the romantic links between Cruz and Bardem, however. There was a little action onstage that was masked by the shot.
When Brolin and Bardem appeared in their matching white jackets, shirts and bow ties, they shared a quick kiss on the lips. It seemed that ABC was aghast at the utter horror of two men's lips touching, did some quick editing, and opted instead to show a long glimpse of Cruz to save us all from such scandalous Hollywood happenings.
But a longer clip reveals something much different.
The clip making the rounds on the internet:
What seemed to be cut out:
In response to increasing criticism over the apparent cut, out Oscar producer Bruce Cohen sent a statement to AfterElton. He wrote:
Matter settled? Not by a long shot.
It [the dance and the kiss] was unscripted, and the plan in the truck was always to cut to Penelope in the audience applauding Josh's and Javier's introduction, so that is what happened, just as they were starting to dance. Josh and Javier's moment (I saw them start to dance, but, to be honest, I have no idea if they kissed -- that's the first I've heard of that) would have made a great TV moment, but since no one knew it was coming, we cut to the gorgeous Mz. Cruz as planned. By the time we cut back from her close-up, Josh and Javier were walking to the podium.
Though there's a long shot of Cruz -- which many casual viewers noticed -- it actually doesn't seem to have hidden anything but the actors' dance to the mic. As the clip below shows -- one that starts well before the others with Anne Hathaway's lead-in -- it does look like the kiss aired. It just aired in a long shot that makes the kiss almost indiscernible.
The kiss, as it aired:
What's strange is that when asked about the uproar, ABC's official response is "No comment."