The Oscars add a popular film category and earlier 2020 air date

The Oscars add a popular film category and earlier 2020 air date

The Oscars add a popular film category and earlier 2020 air date

The most eyebrow-raising addition is a category for "popular film".

"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide", John Bailey and Dawn Hudson, Academy president and CEO respectively, said in a letter to members obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. With Oscar ratings dipping over the past few years, this move is no doubt the Academy's way of getting more eyeballs on the ceremony itself.

The biggest news here is obviously the addition of the new category.

To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). In the past, the Oscars have typically run well over 3 hours long.

Capping the telecast was meant to help in "delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide". The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

Another notable change is that, as from 2020, the awards show will take place earlier on in February due to the number of televised film awards that are now on prior to the Oscars like The Golden Globes, The Screen Actors Guild, and The Critics Choice Awards.

The Oscars do not, for example, recognise the work of stuntmen and stuntwomen, or choreographers, voice artists and a multitude of other professional and artistic disciplines in the film industry.

The biggest change, however, is that they are looking to add "a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film", with key details surrounding that particular award forthcoming. Naturally, many are speculating that this will be the Academy's way of recognizing cultural and financial phenomenon Black Panther without actually giving it a nod for the prestigious award.

Filmmaker Mike Flanagan said the Oscars were essentially creating an attendance award. The Last Fall director Matthew A. Cherry agreed Black Panther is a shoo-in, while adding that he'd like to see the Academy add a best stunt race, too.

Writing in the trade newspaper Variety, journalist Kristopher Tapley accused the Academy of desperation.

Others blasted the academy with insults, calling the new changes "inane" and those who made them "cowards", while Lord of the Rings veteran Elijah Wood simply tweeted, "Best Popular Film? oof".

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