After a wave of mixed reactions -- most of them negative -- to the introduction of a new popular film category at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is putting off its debut. For now, anyway.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the organization said that the implementation of the category merited "further study," and that it would not be included in the upcoming 91st annual Oscars telecast as initially planned.
“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,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in the statement. “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.”
When it was first announced in early August, details were scant about the new Achievement in Popular Film category. The Academy promised to reveal additional information -- including the all-important eligibility requirements -- at a later date, but it sounds like based on all of the backlash the category received (even the Razzies trashed it), they decided to take a beat and rethink some things.
Among the biggest complaints over the new category was just how a film's popularity would be measured (by box office? Fan voting?), and whether or not creating a separate category for action flicks and rom-coms was kind of insulting. (You're not good enough for a real Oscar, but here's a trophy because audiences saw you in theaters!) We're glad the Academy realized that this was a strange, hasty decision, and think it would be best if they just let this idea go entirely.
The Oscars are slated to air on ABC on February 24, 2019.
[via: The Hollywood Reporter]