It’s time once again for the Academy Awards, a time for narcissistic Hollywood elites to pat themselves on the back. Television viewers across the globe tune in to watch celebrities rail against the values of everyday Americans, while accepting awards for films that average person does not like and will not watch. Earlier this year, the Golden Globes had their share of Anti-Trump messages, primarily from Meryl Streep
Last year was the lowest viewership for the Oscars in eight years. In 2016, ratings were down 6%. While this may not seem like much, the ratings for 2015 were down 16% from the year before. A quick review of the ratings history for the Oscars shows that the viewership for the program has its peaks and valleys, but that overall, enthusiasm for the event is in decline.
Last year’s decline in viewership may have been due in part to the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, which was the result of a lack of diversity in nominees, but what about the overall decline?
This year, the Oscars have a more diverse set of nominees, but does anyone care? None of the top nominated films grossed over $100 million at the box office. By contrast, Americans enjoyed many other films not in contention for best film such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool.
While film critics may thumb their nose at America’s favorite anti-hero’s cinematic debut, it begs the question of why the average person would bother to tune into an awards show simply to see actors receive awards for films the typical movie goer did not watch, and likely will not watch. It’s predictable that there may be a slight bump in viewership from last year, but that the trend of declining viewership will likely continue. Of course, that could be wrong. Perhaps more and more people are disinclined to witness out of touch elites give speeches about politics while wearing ensembles that cost more than it would to fund a homeless shelter.