Oscars reach 2023 targeting survival with falling audience

Awards seek to overcome Will Smith’s slap at Chris Rock last year by anchoring on the success of ‘Everything, Everywhere, At The Same Time’

Los Angeles (Special Envoy) – The 95th ceremony of the oscar which takes place on the night of this Sunday, the 12th, from 9 pm (Brasília time), promises to be the beginning of several changes in the main festival of world cinema: from the consecration of a film whose language conquered the fans coveted by the Hollywood Academy, that is, young people (Everything Everywhere at the Same Time competes in 11 categories), to the formation of a crisis committee to avoid (or alleviate) embarrassing situations, such as the slap given by Will Smith to Chris Rock last year.

But the most visible change touches on a tradition: the red carpet, which has welcomed the arrival of movie stars for six decades, was replaced by a champagne hue. “I think this decision shows how confident we are that no blood will be spilled,” joked the comedian. Jimmy Kimmel, who will once again lead the ceremony. The color change was suggested by creative consultants Lisa Love, a contributor to Vogue magazine, and Raúl Àvila, creative director of the Met Gala in New York.


According to them, the change will help transform the arrival of the stars into a nocturnal event. For Love, there was always a disconnect between the elegant dress code of bow ties and ball gowns and the fact that it’s mid-afternoon in Los Angeles, which is to say around 3 pm local time, when people arrive to be photographed. in daylight. “We turned a daytime event into a nighttime event,” Love said. “And it’s more elegant — it’s champagne, after all,” added Bill Kramer, CEO of the Hollywood Academy.

The attempt, although risky, is yet another measure to regain the transmission’s audience which, with the exception of a slight increase last year (5.36 million viewers), has been systematically falling – the negative record remains that of 9.85 million tuned in 2021. For many, the Oscars ceased to be a must-see program on Sunday night and that became dangerously real when HBO decided not to change the day of airing the last episode of its hit series, The Last of Us.

The final episode will air an hour earlier than usual, at 10 pm (Brasília time), and if the Oscars have advertising money on the line (the ceremony costs US$ 56.8 million), the cable channel is not worried about that. But HBO brought forward the episode that would be shown on February 12 so as not to compete with the Super Bowl. Right decision: that day, the American football final had the third highest audience in history.


As if the external problems weren’t enough, the Hollywood Academy has to worry about the internal ones as well. Like the bad backlash caused by the delay in taking a stand after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at last year’s awards. For this, a crisis committee was created with the function of trying to avoid facts like this or, at least, to take a more urgent measure – if possible even during the ceremony.

The Academy, however, lives under an eternal tightrope. If this year celebrates a large number (four) of Asians in the main categories, it still does not know what to do with the effect of the unexpected nomination of Andrea Riseborough for best actress. Interpreter of the Little Seen to Leslieshe was named after many A-list stars (like Kate Winslet) rallied around her performance.

When two other Best Actress nominees – Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and Viola Davis (The Woman King) – were snubbed, some saw this as a reflection of racial prejudice in the film industry. The Academy launched an inquiry into Riseborough’s star-studded grassroots campaign, but found no reason to rescind his nomination.

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