Oscars Add New ‘Popular Film’ Category, Immediate Internet Backlash Ensues
What popular flick do YOU think should’ve won an Academy Award?
In an apparent bid to reverse the declining viewership of the Oscars, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is making three major changes to next year’s ceremony.
The biggest is the introduction of an all-new category, “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film,” in contrast to the usual prestige arty fare the Academy favors.
While the Academy said in a memo to members that “eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming,” it is likely a move to incorporate box-office behemoths like Black Panther, which would otherwise be shunned from the Best Picture category.
Change is coming to the #Oscars. Here's what you need to know:
– A new category is being designed around achievement in popular film.
– We've set an earlier airdate for 2020: mark your calendars for February 9.
– We're planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast. pic.twitter.com/oKTwjV1Qv9
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 8, 2018
The next move is to shorten the telecast to just three hours. The memo noted this was to designed to deliver “a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.”
That entails cutting some categories from the live broadcast. Several awards will be given during commercial breaks, and acceptance speeches will then be edited down and aired after the show.
These categories have yet to be announced, but do not be surprised if there are no Sound Mixing and Editing awards shown during next year’s telecast.
Lastly, the date of the ceremony will be bumped up from February 23 to February 9, 2020. That will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process, but IndieWire claims it is a “bid to jump ahead of multiple rival awards shows.”
The Academy has resisted pressure from broadcasters to update the ceremony in the past, but it is now feeling the heat. The 2017 ceremony dropped to a record low viewership of 26.5 million.
Altering an awards ceremony so steeped in tradition and revered by cinephiles has sparked some debate on Twitter, with many not taking the news so well.
R.I.P. The Academy. The Oscars as we know it are over. A sad day for Hollywood.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) August 8, 2018
“The Oscars are too long and boring and they never give anything to the comic book movies I like!” pic.twitter.com/ixO4dNBpHI
— Chris Schleicher (@cschleichsrun) August 8, 2018
Here's the thing: the proportion of superhero movie fans upset that their poor unsung blockbusters don't get Academy recognition is *minuscule* compared to the proportion of superhero movie fans WHO DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE OSCARS AND NEVER WILL. Why bother appeasing them?
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) August 8, 2018
I know it’s pretentious but I find it disappointing they’re now giving Oscars to so-called “popular” movies. Oscars only deserve to be given to beloved cinematic classics like Crash
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) August 8, 2018
the Oscars is adding a Best Popular Film category to be determined thru a combination of box office, fan voting, and number of a films costars bullied off social media due to constant death threats from racist trolls
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) August 8, 2018
Basically the Oscars added an award for Most Hostile Fanbase.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) August 8, 2018
Breaking my vacation Twitter fast for my one comment on this dumbass Best Popular Movie Oscar: pic.twitter.com/5mSEKKHlgu
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) August 8, 2018
THE ACADEMY: [airs Oscars that include laborious and incomprehensible "visiting normal people at a movie screening" bit]
THE ACADEMY: Our ceremony is too long because of all the awards
— Daniel D'Addario (@DPD_) August 8, 2018
What do you think?