Wrap it up: Oscars cutting categories to boost ratings

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By Laura Bautista

The Academy Awards celebrate dedicated filmmakers who worked tirelessly to create something truly amazing, but this year some filmmakers won’t get the full recognition they deserve.

The 94th Oscars are cutting down eight out of the 23 categories from their live broadcast to boost viewership.

This year, the awards for Documentary Short, Film Editing, Makeup/Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Animated Short, won’t be part of the big show. Also, Live Action Short and Sound will take place an hour before the live broadcast and the acceptance speeches will be edited into the live broadcast. They can’t get up from their seats, take the stage or deliver a speech to the live audience in the theater. 

ABC rationalized the change in order to keep the show under three hours. Last year’s award ceremony was the lowest rated Oscars in history with 10.4 million viewers. This led ABC to pressure the Academy to make changes.

This is not the first time that the Academy tried to remove categories. Back in 2018, they tried a similar change following another low rated Oscars but backtracked on their decision due to audience outrage.

This time, however, the Academy is sticking to this decision despite criticism from the film industry.

“Most of the movies that are here tonight were done against many, many difficult odds and with a lot of people — we don’t do them alone,” director Guillermo del Toro said while accepting his Hollywood Critics Association Filmmaking Achievement Award. “I must say, this — if any year was the year to think about it — this was not the year to not hear their names live at the Oscars. This is the year to say it and to say it loud.”

Many people on Twitter voiced their opinion on the announcement. 

“Just reverse this stupid insulting decision and present all 23 enough with this pandering to people WHO ARE NOT WATCHING ANYWAY! (sic),” user @samshaib said.

“If they thought last year’s telecast was the worst ever, ratings included, you haven’t seen anything yet,” user @ionCURR3NT posted. “Deny Oscar winners their moment in the spotlight, clearly some of them are not worthy enough.”

“I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a kid, and some of my favorite memories are when they explained how important some of the crafts disciplines were and why those nominees were being honored,” username @happyrhodesfan posted. “I learned a lot and was more appreciative of them, which is why this upsets me.”

The Academy in the past has made controversial decisions from best pictures winners, unfavorable hosts, and long commercials which turned away a majority of the audience. Can this decision bring in more viewers or will it flop?

The 94th Oscars will be held March 27, on ABC.

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