Talk of politics during awards ceremonies has always been a controversial subject, and one producer of the upcoming Oscars said an in-depth analysis proved viewers are fed up with celebrities pushing “progressive politics” at the ceremony.
The New York Times reports that behind the scenes, there is fear among Oscars organizers that the posh event’s ratings might tank following the performance of other major awards shows.
According to the Times, the ratings for the Grammy Awards and Golden Globes dropped by 53% and 60% respectively.
“Now, as Hollywood prepares for a coronavirus-delayed Academy Awards telecast on April 25 on ABC, it is faced with the ultimate doomsday scenario: that the viewing public is ready to toss its premier showcase into the entertainment dustbin, plopped next to variety shows,” the Times reports.
The paper cited an anonymous Oscars producer, who said an exhaustive analysis of viewing habits showed that “vast swaths” of viewers turned off their TVs when celebrities started talking politics.
“Increasingly, the ceremonies are less about entertainment honors and more about progressive politics, which inevitably annoys those in the audience who disagree,” the Times reported.
“One recent producer of the Oscars, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential metrics, said minute-by-minute post-show ratings analysis indicated that ‘vast swaths’ of people turned off their televisions when celebrities started to opine on politics.”
Between 2014 and 2020, the Oscars ratings have plummeted 44%.
Last year, the ceremony was watched by just 23.6 million viewers on ABC, hitting an all-time average low.
Brad Pitt and actor/comedian Chris Rock both brought politics to the stage then, with the former panning Republicans for not allowing former White House national security adviser John Bolton to testify during the impeachment trial of Trump.
This year, director Steven Soderbergh, who is producing the show with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, said their aim is to reimagine the format of the show to make it look more like a movie.
“It’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before,” said Soderbergh.
“We want the show to have a voice,” he said, adding that presenters like Pitt, Harrison Ford, and Halle Berry will be “playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves,” and that during acceptance speeches, winners will be given more “space” and be “encouraged them to tell a story, and to say something personal,” according to Reuters.
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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