The Oscars are annually one of the most viewed events on American television. Every year, some of the biggest names in Hollywood gather together to celebrate the accomplishments of film the year before.
Although the Oscars remains a big event in Hollywood, its relevance is getting thinner year by year.
In 2018, the awards show saw the lowest ratings in its history at 26 million viewers.
The show gained a little more attention in 2019 by getting 29 million viewers, but it’s clear that the Oscars, in recent years, have been doing worse than they ever have before. There are many reasons for this, but the most prevalent reason is its lack of diversity in those nominated for awards.
Out of all of the nominees this year, only one of them is a woman of color. This woman is Cynthia Eviro, nominated for Lead Actress in “Harriet”. There are no female directors nominated for awards either.
However, lack of diversity in nominees isn’t something that the Academy hasn’t been accused of before.
In 2015, activist April Reign created the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The hashtag was the public’s way of revolting against the lack of diversity in nominees. At that time, all 20 people who were nominated for awards were not people of color.
Although, according to Reign, the goal of the hashtag wasn’t just for people of color.
“#OscarsSoWhite is meant to encompass all races, ethnicities, all sexual orientations, all dangers, First Nation status and divisibility — visible and non-visible,” said Reign in an interview with ABC news.
Although the academy has added more women and people of color to their membership, representation still lacks in their choice of nominees. Considering there is only one person of color nominated for an award, that’s just not enough.
Not only does the Oscars not represent America in who they nominate, but they also are going without a host for the second year in a row. Normally, the Oscars put a lot of focus on who is hosting that year, be it through advertisements or announcements.
The reason they don’t have a host this year is because of controversy surrounding the host they wanted for last year. Kevin Hart was originally going to host the 91st Academy Awards, but as some old tweets resurfaced, he was forced to step away.
Although last year did do better viewership wise without a host, it’s unlikely that not having a host was the reason for its success. Even with the boost small in viewership, last year’s Oscars was the second least viewed in their history.
Hopefully, they’ll be able to turn a new leaf tonight at 5 p.m. on ABC.