Home / Entertainment / Arts/ Oscars move to honour ‘popular’ movies sparks swift backlash

Oscars move to honour ‘popular’ movies sparks swift backlash


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 10 August 2018 00:10

Facebook

LOS ANGELES (Reuters): The Oscars will introduce a new award for popular films and the annual ceremony will be limited to three hours, organisers said on Wednesday, in a bid to stave off slumping audiences for the movie industry’s most prestigious honours.

The decision to create a special category for popular films sparked an immediate backlash, with one critic saying it smacked of desperation.

The sweeping changes also include handing out some of the 24 Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the Feb. 24 broadcast on Walt Disney Co’s ABC network.

“We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide,” the board of governors at the Academy of Motion Pictures said in a letter to members.

The U.S. television audience for the almost four-hour Oscar ceremony in March 2018 was 26.5 million viewers, the smallest in awards’ 90-year history. The telecast is an important showcase for the film industry, and nominated movies typically attract a new wave of ticket buyers.

“The accidental implication is here’s the award for popular film, and here’s the unpopular films,” said Alison Willmore, critic and culture writer for Buzzfeed News.

The changes are the biggest since the Academy in 2016 pledged to double its female and minority membership by 2020 in response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of its nominees.

In 2009, it expanded the number of best picture nominees from five to 10 in a bid to open up the competition.

Yet in recent years, the Oscars have tended to honour art house fare and performers, like best picture winners “Moonlight” and “The Shape of Water,” for its biggest prizes rather than box office hits like the “Star Wars” franchise or superhero movies such as 2017 blockbuster “Wonder Woman.”

Fans of this year’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” from Disney’s Marvel Studios, have been arguing that it deserves a best picture nomination.

Wednesday’s letter did not give details of the new category recognising “achievement in popular film,” saying those would come later, but critics on Twitter said it seemed to create a second-tier honour and mocked it as “the Black Panther award.”

“This is desperation,” wrote Kristopher Tapley, awards editor for Hollywood trade publication Variety. “Here comes the Academy, establishing a corner to which voters can banish (Black Panther) and other films like it with a pat on the head and a “‘thanks for playing.’”

The Academy could have waited to see the impact on the best picture race from its push to diversify its membership, Willmore said.

“There’s a lot of reasons to believe that would have shaken up the hidebound ideas of what an Oscar movie is,” she said. 

The Academy said it will trim the duration of the Oscars ceremony by handing out some awards during commercial breaks. Organisers did not say which of the 24 awards, which honour everything from acting to sound editing and short films, would be shifted.

 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


Emperors without clothes: Is Mother Lanka naked too?

Monday, 17 June 2019

The expression ‘The Emperor without clothes’ derives from the Hans Anderson tale that is based on Sufi wisdom. The Emperor in Anderson’s story was without doubt, the finest dressed man in the land and he loved wearing fine clothes and spent al


The confusion of the collision is becoming indescribable!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Strange are the things we are witnessing in the political scene. The fast-evaporating trust and confidence in politicians and the Government are seriously destroying the harmony of the nation. The Prime Minister of the country has admitted that the


Columnists More