The award season used to be the most talked about thing of the year. Whether it be the media covering the events, influencers and celebrities alike promoting their brands/achievements or fans gearing up to see their favs win. So how comes in the last couple of years, I’ve barely noticed the award season come and go? A thing that used to be considered prestigious and exciting has now become barely worthy of a second glance.
Of course, this year, the academy got people talking with the infamous Will Smith VS Chris Rock incident (whose side are you on? – for me personally they’re both valid) but if this didn’t occur how many people would have realised the Oscars was even taking place?
I know I wouldn’t have.
As someone who has grown up desiring to attend my own Oscars one day, it’s kind of saddening to see the influence of the award shows go downhill.
I mean, what went wrong?
I have some theories. First off, how many times have talented individuals and projects been snubbed because the academy wants to push the bigger names. I know that I, along with many others, would tune in excited to see my favourites get their recognition, only to be completely disappointed when they didn’t even get a mention. How can the academy justify ignoring these projects/names when they’ve been the most talked about topics for weeks?
Somehow the numbers just don’t add up.
Then we have the issue of scandals. Many, many times have we seen the academy turn a blind eye to horrific accusations and sometimes proven charges to award THEIR favourites. I’m sorry, but the Academy seem to protest that they are against violence and other misconducts, but then don’t reprimand those in their group who carry out such actions.
Let’s take Will Smith for example. There are talks about him having his Oscar taken away due to his misdemeanour that night, but Harvey Weinstein – who currently sits in jail for many sexual assault convictions – has still been able to keep his winning titles. The Grammys are also known to get into disputes with their talent. Their feud with Ariana Grande over creative directions was no secret. It’s not a good look when your own talent can’t even get on the same page as you.
This brings us into our next popular theory around why award shows aren’t as popular as they used to be:
It’s no secret that award shows like The Oscars and The Grammys throw about a lot of casual racism. It’s been happening for years and even though the world has (mostly) caught up on the racial inequality front, I’m guessing they didn’t get the memo. Many people in the industry have come forward with stories of the racism they’ve experienced behind the scenes at these events, which even sparked the hashtag #Oscarssowhite in 2015/2016. This was due to the lack of racial representation in major categories. Celebrities such as Jada Pinkett Smith even went as far as to boycott the awards in 2016 due to this.
The Grammys have also shown their lack of enthusiasm for celebrating music produced by non-white artists, again giving little-no diversity in major categories; then going even as far as to just making new categories for their ethnic talents. This could be seen as insulting as it suggests that work produced by non-white artists can’t compare/compete with their counterpart.
The Academy’s lack of representation, moral grounds and overall distastefulness has left them falling from the pedestal. The influence they once had on what would be popular or not is now gone. People are beginning to realise that the academy is outdated, and that their awards don’t determine a projects value or not.
If you ask my opinion, the awards have become just a pretentious way for the rich and famous to play dress up for the night. If they decide to become fairer in their choices then I shall reconsider, but for now I can honestly say the award season excitement is over.
Lauren is a content writer that is creating her own book and aspires to become a published author. While writing content, she also spends her time performing as an actress for different projects presented to her.