Those wanting to see films like Black Panther and Deadpool 2 nominated for an Oscar might be happy with the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences’ decision to add a “popular film” category.
The new addition was just one change announced Wednesday to the tradition-bound spectacle. In attempt to make the Oscars more entertaining, the Academy wants to bring more well-known films into the mix and only broadcast some of the more prominent awards live.
Which is a disgrace to those who see film as an artform and should be treated as such.
The Academy Awards had a record-low rating this year with only 26.5 million viewers, and it thinks that keeping the ceremony to three hours, saying some awards are more important than others, yet making another award, is going to reel people in.
That is not the case.
People don’t watch award shows because they don’t matter anymore. Some people find there is no sense watching awards shows in an era when a person can access what’s happening live on on social media or watch everything on YouTube the next day. Interest in awards have been waning for years, and there is no way to bounce back from that.
Arthouse films are typically the ones nominated for Oscars and don’t often reflect what the general population believes was the best film of the year. And guess what? That’s OK. People can vote for the popular movies at the MTV Movie Awards or the People’s Choice Awards. Don’t taint a prestigious awards ceremony to bring in viewers that won’t watch even if Black Panther is a nominee.
Speaking of Black Panther, the movie is on its way to a nomination in some of the biggest current categories for the Academy Awards. The Academy welcomed a record-number of new voters that could . The Academy has already started voting for fan favorites like Get Out.
The Academy has always been a popularity contest. Meryl Streep always gets nominated. The film directed by Steven Spielberg is an almost guaranteed vote for Best Picture. And a woman will hardly ever be seen in the Best Director category. Bringing in more viewers will not happen with adding a more popular movies to the mix, but changing the demographics of the people voting will. The more diversity in the voting body, the more diversity in films people will see. The Academy needs to induct younger voters; black, Latino, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern voters; people who are LGBT. Nothing is going to change unless the fundamental body changes.
Georgia Davis is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Would you watch the Oscars if a “popular movie” award was added? Tell Georgia by tweeting her at @georgiadee35.