The Academy Awards announced Wednesday that they are adding a new category to The Oscars to honor popular films and it’s called “Most Popular Film.”
The addition of the new category rubbed some people the wrong way. Many feel like The Oscars are biting off of MTV’s flow, and some even think it’s a snub so the Academy doesn’t have to give “Black Panther” an Oscar for best motion picture/best film.
This is an enormous move for the Academy, a sign that the elite institution is once again trying to find more ways to reward the sorts of movies typically seen by the filmgoing public—and get more viewers to tune in to the annual ceremony. Adding this category could, conceivably, help ameliorate accusations that the institution has fallen out of step with popular culture (a contributing factor to the ceremony’s diminishing viewership).
The other changes that the Academy has approved are also quite telling. Shortening the ceremony to a strict three hours is a straightforward way to court viewers who are otherwise dismayed by the show’s bloated running time. In order to meet this goal, though, the Oscars will have to present select categories during commercial breaks—which is a nice way of saying that less headline-grabbing categories will be relegated to the sidelines. That sounds similar to the way the Academy celebrates honorary Oscar winners, who are now given their statuettes months in advance at the Governors Awards. Tiny snippets of their speeches are shown during the live Oscars ceremony.
What are your thoughts on this?