East Tennessee Academy voter shares Oscars insights

Local News

On Oscars Sunday, there’s one couple in East Tennessee more ready than the rest. 

Usually, they’ve seen every documentary, film, short film — you name it, before the awards show. 

As they should, since it’s part of Ted Hatfield’s job as a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. 

“Before the movies even play New York, LA or even Knoxville. We get DVDs and tapes. This year, Carla and I got over 90 tapes of the movies. We got copies of the scripts, copies of the best song entries. So our library at home is quite extensive.” said Ted. 

He and his wife, Carla, are not strangers to the movie business. In fact, it’s how they met. 

“He kept bugging me to go out, I said no I want to go to lunch, not to dinner. Finally, he just kept persisting.” said Carla. 

At the time, she worked in the Script Department at MGM while Ted supervised a publicity crew in the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean. That’s when he became an Academy member. 

“I got in at MGM because I supervised a crew of publicity people in the US and Canada and Caribbean. I got in in 1972, so ive been in it over 40 years.” said Ted. 

Now — nearly 40 years later, he still votes. But don’t expect to get any hints on what actors or films he’s voted for. He really won’t say, but what he can say: 

“There’s 9 pictures up for nomination. They’re very diverse. They’re all good movies. Whoever wins.. I just hope there’s no problem from Price Waterhouse [Cooper] this year and they don’t get mixed up in the ballots again, that’s my hope.” said Ted. 

He’s referring to the infamous mix-up during the Best Picture announcement in 2017. 


“I worked backstage for 20 years in the press room, the only thing that really sticks out in my mind is when the streaker ran across the stage.. that’s an incident you always remember.” said Ted. 

Now, living in East Tennessee, Carla and Ted go to the movies often. Even with his official Academy Membership Card, Ted will enjoy some at home but believes films are meant to be enjoyed on a big screen. 

“We see most of the movies in the theater. I think that’s the way movies are supposed to be seen. And we love coke and we love popcorn.” said Ted.

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