The Decline Of The Oscars

In true "the show must go on" fashion, The Oscars aired without a host. I know I can't be the only one to watch Oscars this year and was shook that the show still went on despite there being no host. I also began to wonder why I was still watching this year, knowing well just how problematic Hollywood is. Netflix and other streaming services arguably have more influence on which movies we watch. There's been so much controversy connected to the Oscars just within recent years, like the #MeToo Movement and #OscarsSoWhite. Now views steadily decline, and it's become less about the movies and more about who wore what? So despite all this, why is there still so much Oscar Buzz?

                                                         Credit To Forbes

 

The Oscars used to be a relatively simple ceremony. The first one hosted in 1929 was a dinner that only gave out a few awards, didn’t have much publicity. In the following years films became more popular with the development of sound, then referred to as “Talkies”. Movies, the film industry, and their awards then increased in popularity with even more new developments like technicolor, and became an essential part of our popular culture.

The Oscars in this age however, seem to just remind you of all the films you haven’t seen that you should see. This can be subjective to one’s own taste, in the past, many Oscar nominated films have been hated by the public. Vice versa, some films that deserve recognition don’t get any. While I personally liked La La Land in 2016, I know many questioned why that film was getting so much recognition comparing it to Sing Street (which is also good). Instead of being about film, I notice there seems to be an agenda of pushing the A-List status of what one should aspire to be. Year after year I read dozens of articles about how beautiful people looked, and how much their outfits cost and who’s wearing who. Glamour comes first in Hollywood, and even more so in these award ceremonies. The attention at these ceremonies is rarely on the indepth process of filmmaking and what the director intended, and more so on celebrity and the influence of studeio executives. What is the story behind the films truly?

 

Especially in recent years seeing racial disparity in representation and in winning, and hearing about the horrific things many women had to go through, I stayed away from the Oscars. I couldn’t support something that took advantage of so many young women and did not represent people equally. I’ll admit this year many of the films tackle real stories and issues of people, such as Roma representing the working class, or Green Book tackling the reality of race in the South. Yet, the Oscars couldn't find anyone willing to host this year, which truly says it all.

The fact that this year’s ceremony managed to go on was what drew me in more than the actual ceremony itself (I tuned in an hour late) Something that is of such high allure, and status, what should be a dream gig that was up for grabs by anyone, couldn’t find a single Host. If such an event can’t find a host, how do they expect mass viewership and to maintain their influence? Slowly, these awards are losing the credibility they once had with the public, viewership now at an all time low. After all, why would I willingly sit through four hours of being told what is good to watch, when I could just sleuth through Netflix and make my own judgement?

At this point it will be interesting to consider the future of these award ceremonies. Will their influence, or maybe even the awards themselves, cease to exist completely? Will more Netflix films start getting nominated? Maybe the films will see more representation, and viewership will rise again! Perhaps instead of films being voted on by a board, viewers can vote on their favorite films? True history would be made if again next year there isn’t a host. Would it really be shocking though?