The tastes of the general public and the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have never been further apart. This has led to a dramatic decline in viewership of the Oscar ceremony. The Hollywood Reporter’s long-time awards specialist Scott Feinberg offers a list of recommendations to the Academy for how to right its ship, and make itself relevant to the mainstream once again.
His suggestions begin with refocusing on the original mission of the Academy, to recognize outstanding achievements in filmmaking. It should refrain from any attempt to lead the industry in creative or other directions. “The tail (the Academy) cannot wag the dog (the industry).”
Feinberg’s list also includes a number of commonsense recommendations to become more transparent in its membership and voting practices. The Academy’s instinct for secrecy is a bad look in the age of social media.
And finally, the Academy should find ways to celebrate the achievements of popular cinema – a.k.a. blockbusters – alongside the artistic creations it has favored more recently. This would put the biggest stars on the stage and highlight the movies that the public has shown it is most interested in.
See also: The Oscars Are Broken. Here’s How to Fix Them (New York Times)