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Oscars 2022: The Downfall

by Öykü Efendi

The 94th edition of the academy awards will be held on March 27 in its traditional home, Dolby Theater. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes will host the show. Producer Will Parker said, "This year's show is all about uniting movie lovers. It's apropos that we've lined up three of the most dynamic, hilarious women with very different comedic styles".   Despite the positive attitude and enthusiasm of Will Parker and other academy members, people on Twitter are furious. Yes, they do have a point.


The Oscars' viewership has been freefalling for a few years now. After last year's numbers  -56 percent down from the already impotent 2020 edition, it has been decided that the show needs a bit of reshaping. The Academy has made a flurry of announcements. The ceremony will feature a slimmed-down screen time; there will be two new fan-voted categories and three new faces in place of hosts. However, it seems like the many efforts to "fix and refresh" the show is beginning to overshadow the primary purpose of the ceremony.


The academy president David Rubin sent an email to members stating that the eight of this year's categories won't be presented live on the telecast; instead, the eight winners will give their presentations and speeches earlier. They will then be edited and featured. The Oscar winners will have to deliver their speeches to an empty theater. Rubin insists that viewers will not notice this slight change, but dedicated fans on Twitter are displeased. Doesn't this create a threat to people who actually enjoy watching the show?


To be "more engaged with the online community," in short, to get more blockbusters, they announced that there will be a new category in which people will vote for their favorite film. In recent prediction polls, Cinderella, which singer Camilla Cabello stars in, seems to be taking the lead. It is obviously not a bright idea to award blockbusters just to increase viewership, especially in a world where superheroes and action movies are the supreme leaders. Bigger movies do not always mean better ratings—for example, The Emmys. The Emmys continuously nominate blockbusters. Game of Thrones won who knows how many awards. The Oscars still pulled a larger audience every time. This rare sensible side of Oscars should not be watered down.


It is evident that the hosts of the show are what gives it an identity. Good hiring can lead to big numbers. Most people would turn their television on just to hear and see what the hosts say or do. However, whether the Academy has missed the mark is a vague question. Do not get me wrong; hosts are brilliant artists who are capable of many things. They announced the trio awfully late, and some people mentioned seeing these hosts together feels like it is 2015 all over again.


A change does not have to be a bad thing. However, these actions feel like Oscars are desperate for approval. Maybe it would be better if the Academy and its broadcaster, ABC, focused on making the show entertaining with sensible nominees and worried less about who produced them or who starred in them. Maybe then, they would be onto something.

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