The Academy Awards are making significant changes including the addition of a brand new popular film category, a decision criticized by some in the industry as a watering down of the quality of the ceremony. Moreover, the Academy is trying to shorten the event due to declining viewership.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Oscars are also under attack for being out of touch with the mainstream opinions of regular Americans. Whether or not that’s true, some on Twitter certainly seemed to agree.
One person wrote, “I stopped watching the Oscars in the last two years because I’m sick of celebrities wagging their fingers at me, and lecturing me on how I should think and how I should live my life. They’re so preachy and annoying.”
Supposedly, the idea of bringing in such a category is to give credence to the kinds of movies which bring in the most money, and ultimately, more viewers.
John Bailey, who is now the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in an email that the Board of Governors had agreed to make the changes.
They’ve also changed the date of the 2020 ceremony to the 9th of February. However, the date for next year’s Awards will still be the 24th of February. Mark Harris, the Five Came Back author, said that the idea of bringing a popular film category was “ghetto” and people would “perceive it that way.”
The film business passed away today with the announcement of the “popular” film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 8, 2018
Rob Lowe tweeted, “the film business passed away today with the announcement of the “popular” film Oscar.”
The actor joked that the scene would be survived by “tent-poles, sequels, and vertical integration.” Others worried that the creation of the new category would effectively ruin Black Panther’s chance at Best Picture.
According to the Tribune, the viewership for the Oscars has fallen dramatically in the last few years, with the 90th Academy Awards hitting an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers, which was down a whopping 19% from 2017.