The Oscars announced that they will be implementing a variety of changes to their program. These are, moving up the date of the 92nd Oscars, continuing to give out awards during breaks, a new category for the most ‘popular’ movies, and to try and get the whole affair done in under three hours.
The last of these isn’t a bad idea as the whole ceremony is over bloated and overlong as it is and the first is really nothing news worth at all. The middle two though are were all the problems come cascading in.
Handing out awards during breaks means that, simply, certain awards will no longer be televised. This means that all the smaller awards or the technical awards will be shunted. Swept under the rug to make room for the big stars…and the mandatory commercial breaks. The awards show can’t really be called a celebration of film when a lot of the back end material that goes into making a film or even smaller projects aren’t going to be given even a small sliver of the limelight. Especially when they are already mostly ignored.
The popular movie category is just as bad. It isn’t noticing anything special about a movie, except probably how much money it made and that is already reward enough. This comes from calls to see more movies average people actually know and care about, the same reason best picture was expanded from 5 nominees to a possible 10, but here they might as well have named it the “Marvel and Star Wars” category. Which makes a lot of sense seeing as the Oscars are broadcast on ABC and Disney owns ABC. There are a lot of new categories that could have been added, that actually recognize otherwise forgotten yet essential people in the industry, such as Stuntmen and VFX Artists. Even if the category was called “Best Genre Film” it would far more palpable in concept while effectively achieving the same thing as it would at least be attempting to address underrepresented films.
Of course, the reason for these changes is clear. The Oscars are losing viewership year by year and they are trying to reverse that trend. Part of the reason though that people don’t watch it is they are catching on that the whole thing is faked and riggerd. These changes though only serve to further emphasize that point.