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Why the Oscars don’t matter

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Why the Oscars don’t matter

Yael Hanadari-Levy, Opinion Editor

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Tens of millions of Americans watch the Oscars every year. The award show is one of the most-watched television events, aside from sports games. And it’s extremely influential: box-office sales for Best Picture winners get a huge boost after the movies win. There’s no doubt that the Oscars are a huge part of American culture, but should they be?

The entire idea behind the awards is ridiculous. A group of almost entirely white and male industry professionals vote on movies they probably haven’t even seen to decide which are the “best”. Those criticisms aren’t meaningless: the Academy’s diversity issues are clearly reflected in the awards and nominations on which they vote. Non-white people and women are famously underrepresented in the Oscars, and while you could argue that the fact that voters are all in the movie industry means they can use their expertise to decide, that also means they’re often biased by movies that are “supposed” to win or that specifically appeal to them.

Even ignoring all the other issues, the Academy members are voting on movies that they don’t even have to see. Sure, the attempt to quantify the subjective concept of “best”ness into one award based on the opinions of a selective group of professionals is futile, but I’d at least expect them to be required to watch the movie. There’s no way you can argue that the decision isn’t biased when the decision isn’t necessarily based on the movies.

But okay. Let’s say you really, really want to see movies you haven’t watched get awarded meaningless titles by people who also haven’t watched them. But why does it have to be so expensive? The Oscars ceremony costs over $40 million to produce. In their acceptance speeches, Oscar winners always make a point of bringing in politics and talking about their favorite issues. It’s great that they use their position to talk about important issues, but maybe they can do something other than talk. All that money that gets spent on fancy statues and tiny pieces of paper and expensive gift bags for a bunch of billionaires could instead go to causes that actually need it.

The Oscars are outdated and wasteful. The only reason there is for still having the award show is that people enjoy watching it, but since reports show viewership is steadily going down, that argument is slowly becoming inapplicable. Maybe instead of watching the Oscars, we can spend that time watching the movies themselves.

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About the Writer
Yael Hanadari-Levy, Editor In Chief

This is senior Yael Hanadari-Levy’s second year working on the Pitch and first year as editor-in-chief. She doesn’t have any free time between school,...

1 Comment

One Response to “Why the Oscars don’t matter”

  1. Anonymous on March 28th, 2017 4:59 pm

    The Oscars may not mean anything to you but they mean something to the actors. Many actors dream of their acceptance speeches being heard by millions. It means that they finally did it. They achieved greatness.

    I also don’t agree with you on the premise of how it’s against women and nonwhites. Literally the best picture was a cast of almost all black people about how hard it is to be a black person!Also fences was about a guy in the Negro Leagues. Other black people nominated were Ruth Negga, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, and many others. Ali even won that Oscar. And it’s not against women. They literally have categories for actresses, and most of those actresses were in strong female roles such as Natalie Portman in Jackie. So that argument can be thrown out the window.

    Where did you here that these voters haven’t watched the movies? Citations? Otherwise it’s an ill-informed claim.

    What’s wrong with making political statements? And why do you assume that these actors don’t advocate for equality off the screen? Bella Thorne, your Best Female in a Leading Role, is a huge advocate for Women’s rights. Meryl Streep advocated against Trump and was even called out by the Orange man himself. One of the winners, I think it was a producer or a screenwriter, was a Muslim immigrant and decided to not show, but his wife read the best acceptance speech about being a Muslim immigrant.

    In conclusion, stop undermining these actors. They work hard at what they do. As an actor myself, it’s hard learning just 20 lines for a show, let alone 200 or more. And we know nothing about the voters. You clearly made up your own opinion and never gave evidence to your claims. If you back your statements up. There would’ve been no need to write this.

    And we give Trump crap for not backing his statements up…

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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