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Academy board refuses to add stunt-work Oscar

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LOS ANGELES — Oscar won't honor stunt work.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors voted to deny a request from a group of stunt performer's organizations to create a new Academy Award for "best stunt coordinator."

"At a time when the academy is trying to find ways to reduce the numbers of statuettes given out, and looks at categories with an eye more focused on reduction than addition, the board is simply not prepared to institute any new annual awards categories," academy President Frank Pierson said Wednesday.

Stunt workers lobbied hard for the new Oscar category. About 75 performers demonstrated outside the academy's Beverly Hills headquarters last week to promote their cause.

"I'm disappointed," said Jack Gill, a stunt coordinator who has pushed for a stunt category since 1991. "Everyone believes we should have a category except the board of governors."

Gill said he would try to appeal the decision and that stunt performers might picket next year's Academy Awards show.

The last time the Academy added a new category was in 2000 for best animated feature film.

Gill said he was willing to have the award given off-camera so as not to prolong the televised awards show.

"That's why I think this (academy) statement is another way of saying 'We don't believe in you guys and are not going to include you,"' Gill said.

Also Wednesday, the academy said, from now on, it will decide which producers will be given statuettes in the best picture category. Last year, the academy had to decide which producers would receive credit on three nominated movies after studios failed to pare the long list of credited producers down to the maximum three allowed under academy rules.