Is the Oscars Making Progress?
By: Jeslyn Cho, reporter
Refined. Sophisticated. Exquisite. The Oscars is one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the world. It’s purpose is to honor the film industry, giving international recognition and achievements to the greatest films of the year. But, when was the last time you actually watched the Oscars? With flunking viewer ratings and bad publicity, the Oscars seems to be in danger of losing relevance.
Freshman Niki Yang said, “I’ve honestly never watched the Oscars.” This statement is no surprise. Viewership has been decreasing each year. In 2020, it was at an all time low with only 23.6 million people watching. The last time the award ceremony had an audience of more than 40 million was back in 2014. Additionally, the Oscars are constantly under fire for its lack of diversity. Critics claim that the ceremony blocks female directors like Greta Gerwig and Kasi Lemmons from its categories. Greta Gerwig, the director of the hit movie “Little Women” did not receive a nomination for best director in 2020. This sparked an outrage on social media. The Oscars were also under heavy fire for its lack of racial diversity. The only performer of color nominated for the 2020’s Oscar was Cynthia Erivo, who played Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet.
However, the Oscars is finally starting to make some progress. This year’s award show will make history. The nominees are much diverse compared to past years with talented directors like Regina King and Chloe Zhao nominated for big categories. Freshman Sabdy Cordon said, “ I think it’s really important for such a huge ceremony like the Oscars to be completely inclusive of who they nominate.” The Oscars seems to be working hard on making progress and giving collective representation. Only time will tell if the Oscars will be able to maintain its prestige and relevance.
Photo Caption: The Oscars is making history by holding its most inclusive award ceremony in 2021.