An unspoken truth of the Academy Awards is that not everyone cares about each category equally. The general public probably just wants to hear Best Actor/Actress and Best Picture, movie fans like the more in-depth categories like writing or editing, and people who make short films like the ones about short films. The thing is, the Academy Awards are so prestigious that everyone agrees to treat every category equally, aside from the order that winners are announced, which plays into this idea that movies are special and worth giving awards to.
Well, screw that, apparently. Today (via Variety), the Academy announced that eight Oscars will not be given out live during the telecast: Best Documentary Short, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup And Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Animated Short, Best Live-Action Short, and Best Sound. Some of those are big categories! Sorry, ALL of those are big categories!
The awards will still be given out, but at a phony pre-show that starts an hour before the actual ceremony. Later, during the telecast, clips of the winners and their speeches will be edited in to the show, much like what the Academy already does with honorary Oscars. The idea is that this will give more time for “comedy, film clips, and musical numbers” during the show, despite the fact that some of those are often bad, but Academy President David Rubin is so desperate to improve the show’s ratings that he’s willing to piss off a potentially substantial number of show-biz people.
In his defense, though, the Oscar ratings were disastrously bad last year, even considering how disastrously bad they are every year. Something needs to change, even though the ratings for the Oscars would be really far down on a list of first-world problems, and maybe giving more time to comedy skits and musical numbers will be one way to address that.
But that’s all without acknowledging the elephant in the room, which is that the Academy is letting dummies on Twitter vote for a “fan favorite” category by tweeting the “#OscarsFanFavorite” hashtag “up to 20 times a day.” The winner of that poll will be recognized during the show, meaning an award that means even less than every other award will be getting time while Best Film Editing will be relegated to a montage, all so some poor presenter has to say that the goddamn Snyder Cut won a stupid award.
Anyway, the 2022 Academy Awards, which will have fewer categories but last just as long, is happening on March 27.