At the Oscar’s
From the time I was a child, and well into my adult years, I loved watching the Oscars. My family, friends and I would all sit down to cheer on our favorite movies, shows and actors as they accomplished the highest achievement in the Entertainment industry. As “movie people” we knew every nomination, every director and every presenter. But recently, the gold seems to have lost its glitter.
As I was visiting my neighborhood Trader Joe’s on Sunday night, I overheard John, my checker, telling another employee that he was dreading his own Oscar’s party. He then asked if I would be watching the Oscars. When I replied in the negative, he wished he was doing the same. “The awards have just gotten too political. That’s not why I watch them.”
The night of the Oscars, Venture hosted a Facebook poll asking the public if they were watching the awards show, and if not, why? An alarming 75% of respondents agreed with John. They were not watching the Oscars, because they have become “too political”. Only 20% of respondents said they were watching the awards show.
Although not a scientific poll, these results could explain why after a somewhat “successful show” the Oscars had a 4% decline in viewers from the previous year. In fact, the Oscars have lost a remarkable 10 million viewers from 2014 to 2016. One explanation for this continual decline, could be the increase in politically charged acceptance speeches. Just months ago, at The Golden Globes, winner Meryl Streep publicly spoke out against President Trump and his administration. In addition, winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (although a much smaller platform) also took the opportunity to criticize President Trump and his policies.
Like most Americans, celebrities have every right to wield the power of the First Amendment and publicly criticize any President they don’t agree with. However, do average Americans sitting at home watching the Oscars like A-list celebrities who make $20 million dollars a movie telling them what to believe and who to support? Are you celebrities the best messenger for political acumen? Only time, and Oscar ratings will tell.