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Opinion: The Oscars shouldn’t be broadcasted

April 5, 2022

The 94th Academy Awards were held over Spring Break and will certainly go down in history as one of the most eventful shows. 

With such an attention-grabbing spectacle such as Will Smith’s passionate slap, it’s easy to forget the many flaws within the Oscars ceremony. This year, in particular, was eye-opening to whether or not awards shows should even be televised.

First, eight categories were cut from the live program (documentary short, film editing, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short, and sound). This was mainly in an effort to engage viewers and reduce the broadcast’s runtime. 

Nevertheless, the show lasted an additional 39 minutes over their planned two hours. It was significantly longer than last year’s, which managed to maintain all 23 categories. 

Filling up most of the show were new “top five” segments; useless lists like “Top Five Cheer Moments” or “Fan Favorite Movies of 2022”. These WatchMojo-esque clips were unasked for, and often, I’d never even heard of the films they highlighted.

The “In Memoriam” portion was tasteless. While the choir performing was extremely talented, their upbeat songs seemed unfitting for such a solemn part of the show. Even weirder, merely three of the people who had passed away received additional recognition. 

While it was touching to see real friends of Betty White, Sidney Poitier, and Ivan Reitman speak with such passion regarding these legends’ legacies, such testimonies should be issued for every fallen Hollywood contributor. Maybe they could be included on an external website. 

Only including three made it seem as though some stars were more important than others. 

Arguably the most bizarre portion of the entire night (which is certainly saying something) was the Pulp Fiction 28th Anniversary. 

Why not wait two years? There is literally nothing notable about a 28th Anniversary. The dialogue written for Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Travolta was clunky and cringe-worthy. Thurman and Travolta danced for way too long. They relied purely upon nostalgia.

The same goes with the 30th Anniversary of “White Men Can’t Jump”. Good God Woody Harrelson, did you smoke a blunt before taking the stage? 

Such excess was only included to muster a higher viewership, but I think Hollywood underestimates our intelligence.

Personally, I would much rather see people get recognition for their hard work, even if that isn’t technically TV worthy. 

After all, many of the shortened awards were for non-famous people. They likely don’t have the opportunity to receive praise the way actors and directors do, and that’s why it’s so disheartening to hear their categories cut.

Dune had seriously amazing editing and sound design, but the people who worked for months to create something so masterful weren’t granted nearly enough appreciation. 

Additionally, it is clear there is no place for comedy at award shows.

And, believe it or not, I’m not saying this because of Chris Rock. 

The entire concept of a comedian going in front of a room of high-strung celebrities, with an expectation from the general public to make fun of said celebrities, is bound to result in disaster. 

It doesn’t matter whether or not the comedian aims to make their jokes inoffensive, or if executives double-checked the jokes; nobody in the room is going to be happy. 

The jokes won’t land because nobody there wants to be made fun of because they’re rich and famous and live in a bubble. The comedian is bound to crash and burn and, therefore, is less inclined to host something of that caliber in the future. 

Michael Che, a comedian well acquainted with award shows after hosting the Emmys in 2018, has opened up about this struggle on his Instagram. 

“I’m not one of those people that pretends it’s sooooo difficult to be a comedian these days… but there’s places where people actually wanna hear jokes, and there’s places where people wanna take themselves very seriously and have very public emotional meltdowns,” Che said. “As a comedian, why would you ever wanna perform at an award show?”

He continued by suggesting those present for the Oscars were “insufferable people,” who were difficult to make laugh. 

While this is a very harsh opinion regarding the comedian’s role at the Oscars, there is some validity in his statement. 

I think the gist of his point is that making the issuing of awards some spectacle for the general public is a bad idea. Something like this Will Smith debacle was bound to happen. 

So, considering what a dumpster fire this year’s Academy Awards were, maybe we should start considering the value of even televising such events. This conversation isn’t new; the Golden Globes weren’t broadcasted this year. 

As our society increasingly derives its entertainment from the internet rather than television, viewership has significantly declined. 

According to Forbes, this year’s ratings are the second worst in history despite ABC’s many attempts at attracting a wider audience. 

If this trend continues, there might be a future where we don’t see a live Oscars experience. Personally, I’m not too disappointed.

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