By Devin Dubon
With the Academy Awards, which were held on March 4, came its expected share of controversy.
This year’s Oscars hit record low ratings, with only 26.5 million people tuning in—a dramatic 20% drop from the previous record low. This was despite the many attempts made by the Academy to increase an already dropping viewership.
Not only was the time slot moved up to 8PM rather than its usual 8:30, but host Jimmy Kimmel made it a running gag to shorten the notoriously long acceptance speeches—to little success.
Kimmel offered an $18,000 jet ski to the winner with the shortest acceptance speech, a move that divided the audience as some praised the genius riff on the stereotype while others criticized it as being tone-deaf, not effective, and just plain weird.
Some criticism was also directed at the winners of the awards.
Apart from the usual snubs—chief among them being Lady Bird, The Post, and Baby Driver—some objections were raised at the choice of Kobe Bryant, and Gary Oldman—winners of Best Animated Short, and Best Leading Actor, respectively—due to their previous history of sexual abuse allegations.
Kobe was accused of sexual assault in 2003, and Oldman was accused of physical and emotional abuse in 2001. In fact, a petition was started to halt Kobe’s nomination due to this accusation.
This is despite the fact that the #MeToo movement was a theme of the ceremony; Kimmel and many female winners made the movement a key aspect of their speeches. ABC asked actresses about #MeToo on the red carpet within 15 minutes of the show starting.
Although the Oscars are no stranger to controversy, and awkward moments, this year was especially bad. As this was the first show after the New York Times exposé on Harvey Weinstein, the industry is still shaken, and it was prevalent in the ceremony. Combined with the record low viewing numbers, the future of the awards is uncertain.
Source:: The Harbinger