Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Has Postponed Introducing New “Popular Oscar” Category

Following a meeting of the board of governors on Tuesday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has postponed its introduction of the controversial popular Oscar category. The award was intended to be given out at this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Instead,  it will continue to discuss the idea for the new award and “will examine and seek additional input regarding the new category.” The announcement explained that implementing the new award nine months into the year “created challenges for films that have already been released. The Academy did not provide any timeline for when further details about the new award might be decided.

“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson on Thursday. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”

Last month, the Academy’s board of governors voted to create the new award, which it said would recognize “outstanding achievement in popular film.” However, the board did not lay out the criteria or voting process that would be used to determine which films would be eligible and how they would be selected. Many in the film industry took issue with this award, arguing what it actually means for a film to be considered “popular.” Several saw this a way for blockbuster films to be recognized at the Oscars while others said it belittles the work of those films.

Hoping to stem falling ratings for the Oscar broadcast, the Academy is looking for ways to attract the attention of mainstream moviegoers.

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