Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey sent out a memo announcing some major changes to the Academy Awards. Along with a shorter ceremony and moving the air date, they decided they would attempt to get more viewers by introducing a new category to honor popular film. Well, that’s definitely not happening this year, or possibly any year after that. Poor Mark Wahlberg; he was just so close to getting an Oscar.
The Hollywood Reporter says that after a board meeting yesterday, AMPAS decided not to move forward with a popular Oscar category.
“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years – including this year – and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”
A wide range of reactions is putting it mildly. Rob Lowe wrote a pretend Twitter obituary for the film industry, and implied the Academy’s decision to engage in a stunt like a popular film Oscar would be the death of the industry. And that’s a lot coming from the man who is 50% responsible for one of the cringier moments in Oscar history.
However, the popular film award isn’t officially dead. AMPAS confirmed that the popular Oscar award won’t be a category in next year’s ceremony, and that they’ll “examine and seek additional input” before they commit to making it an official category. They further explained that it would be difficult to implement a popular film award nine months into the year and would create “challenges” for films that had already been released. I take that to mean there’s at least nine months worth of popular movies that didn’t get a chance to cut an Oscar bait-y trailer. That’s too bad. I’m sure Ryan Reynolds would have had a great time filming some extra footage of Deadpool exercise a range of complex emotions while trying to hold in a fart.