Audiences ask, 'Academy Awards who?' - The Echo News
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Audiences ask, ‘Academy Awards who?’

The Oscars struggle for relevance in 2019

Photograph by Natalie Baker

Photograph by Natalie Baker

By Katie Pfotzer | Echo

The 91st annual Academy Awards can be described so far as “messy.”

After last year’s dismal ratings (viewership fell nearly 20 percent in 2018 from the previous year), some changes had to be made in the name of relevance.

Unfortunately, due to backlash, most of these changes such as the addition of a “Popular Film” category and the decision that not all of the nominated songs would be performed have all been retracted. The Academy also proposed presenting some awards during commercial breaks, which met further criticism via an open letter written by popular directors such as Alfonso Caron and Quentin Tarantino.

Effectively, any effort the Academy has consciously made to shake things up has been shut down by public outcry.  

But this awards ceremony will be different in one respect. There will be no host.

Comedian Kevin Hart, who was originally booked for the gig, stepped down after refusing to apologize for homophobic tweets.

The main problem with the Oscars seems to be relevance. In a joint survey by Survey Monkey and TIME last year, 65 percent of the 1,875 respondents reported watching between zero and two of the nominations for best picture.

This year, “Black Panther” was the only movie nominated for best picture that was a blockbuster hit. If it wins, it will be the first time in 15 years that a blockbuster movie has won.

Other movies that were popular among movie-goers and critics alike such as “A Quiet Place” and “Eighth Grade” were noticeably snubbed, the former receiving only one nomination for “Best Sound Editing” and the latter receiving none.

This relevance seems to spread to Taylor.

“I’m not planning on watching the Oscars. I don’t even know the movies that are nominated,” sophomore Lucy Patnaude said.

So to those of you loyal holdouts planning your Oscar party on Sunday, have fun watching alone.

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