The Oscars were always monotonous with their nominations and awards — similar faces strolled down the red carpet in their designer attires and received awards, thanking their criminal producers. Their bubbles was impenetrable. The Academy honoured only the richest, most commercially popular, and most American Caucasian actors/directors for their contributions. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering their jury — predominantly white and much older. The awards were even accused of being outdated in today’s political climate. However, their recent discovery of diversity seems more of pandering to the masses than redemption. Despite this, the Oscars remain oblivious of all cinema of the world deserving of exposure and celebration. To add to the mix, they removed eight award categories this year.
Last week, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences informed eight branches they would not telecast their categories live. Nominees of Oscar categories like original score, makeup and hairstyling, documentary short, film editing, production design, animated short, live-action short, and sound will receive their award before the upcoming March 27 show. The Academy will then edit their speeches into the final montage.
The 2021 Oscar ceremony was the least-watched in its history. This year, they aim to make the ceremony more “watchable” to increase Television ratings. As part of the new plan, the ceremony will include more comedy, film clips, and musical numbers. The ceremony will not present the taped categories with awards on the red carpet or during the Oscars pre-show. ”It sends a strong message about prioritizing of branches and specific filmmakers within the Academy,” a producer said, talking to Variety.
The Set Decorators Society of America penned an open letter to the AMPAS addressing their “extreme disappointment”. However, there hasn’t been news of reconsideration so far.
Previously, in 2019, the Academy had tried to hand out four Oscars — for Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling during commercial breaks. However, they had to reverse their decision after receiving backlash.
There were also snubs more justified than Lady Gaga‘s nomination this year — or lack thereof. No actress of colour has received a nomination for the ‘ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE’ category. The most popular award categories continue to nominate veteran actors, completely dismissing foreign entries like Hidetoshi Nishijima from Drive My Car, which also happens to be the only foreign movie nominated for ‘BEST PICTURE’ this year. This, however, is intrinsic because of a separate “Best Foreign Language Feature” category.
The world continues to revere the Oscars, despite them catering largely to an all-American audience. In a sense, Oscars are irrelevant to the rest of the world because of a problem with representation. What was once a platform to celebrate the arts is now rigged to accommodate only the rich.