The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week announced three changes to the Oscars in a bid to make the 90-year-old awards ceremony more appealing—but the public was disgusted.
In a tweet Wednesday, The Academy said next year’s Oscars will happen earlier in the year, last only three hours, and include a new award for popular films. The changes come after this year’s record low viewership and a string of hardly successful attempts to bridge the cultural chasm between Hollywood and the American public.
The Academy has long favored artistic, independent films rather than fan favorites. This year’s best picture winner, The Shape of Water, brought in $195 million, while the 2017 box office champion, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, raked in $1.3 billion. The Oscars become significantly less relatable if the average moviegoer hasn’t seen the winners. And nominations don’t count: The Last Jedi received four Oscar nominations—sound mixing, original music score, visual effects, and sound editing—but didn’t win a single gold-plated statue.
So far, the Academy’s most recent attempt to attract more viewers with a popular movies category is only attracting scorn. Both actors and viewers alike took to the internet to express their disgust.
“This is the ‘Good Job, Moviegoers!’ award,” wrote Stephanie Zacharek for Time, “and if nothing else, it tells us one thing: The Academy thinks the public is stupid.” —C.C.