Oscar's new popular film category sparks backlash

Oscar's new popular film category sparks backlash

In light of the fact that this year's Academy Awards ran nearly four hours and was the least-watched Oscars to date, the Academy has announced they are shortening the broadcast to three hours.

Superhero movies like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, the top two grossing films of the year so far in the U.S., could be in the Oscar race.

"The last thing that the Academy should now be doing is creating a reactionary new category that is, in effect, the Popular Ghetto", said Owen Gleiberman, the chief film critic for Hollywood news outlet Variety. "Otherwise known as the white people's choice awards".

The Academy Awards is adding a new category for the first time in nearly two decades, in the form of an "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film" Oscar.

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The Academy is still working out details like what qualifies as "popular". The Academy announced a new award Wednesday for outstanding achievement in popular film. The Academy already has the Best Picture category. The Dark Knight is an example of a blockbuster hit robbed of a Best Picture nomination which led to the Academy increasing the number of nominees in the Best Picture category from five to ten.

The introduction to the "Best Popular Movie" category is a slap in the face to movie lovers everywhere.

Many have taken to Twitter to criticize and express dismay over the Academy's decision to add the category in question, which some view as an excuse not to nominate critically acclaimed blockbusters such as Black Panther for Best Picture.

A win in the new category "would signal to audiences - and the industry - that Coogler's astonishing afro-futuristic superhero film is more of a product than a piece of art; that it's the most-watched and tweeted-about and liked, but not necessarily of the highest quality", says the entertainment news site. This year's telecast, hosted by Jimmy Kemmel, which was nearly four-hour long, dropped to an all-time low of 19 percent from the previous year to just 26.5 million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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