Oscars 2016 Hits an 8 Year Low

It’s pretty clear, award shows are going down! The Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys, the VMAs, the People’s Choice Awards… The latest editions of all the major ceremonies suffered huge rating declines throughout the year. While drawing millions of viewers may not exactly be regarded as a failure, the steady decrease of viewership is something the shows’ producers need to fix soon.

Frankly, I can hardly remember writing an article about an award ceremony that saw an expansion of its audience and, apparently, the 88th Academy Awards was no exception. The 2016 Oscars had the lowest ratings since 2008, drawing only 34.4 million viewers in the US. The credit for the ratings slip was quickly claimed by the boycotters of the show, who refused to watch the telecast due to the absence of non-white nominees. On the contrary, numerous social media users named the general format of the show as the main reason for the low turnout, while some panned Chris Rock’s hosting, criticizing him for “speaking about nothing else other than race issues”.

Speaking of the host, according to the critics he did pretty well. Most reviewers praised Rock for directly tackling the diversity issue, calling his humor “brave” and “gasp-inducing”. However, his jokes involving Asian kids came under severe fire by many reputable publications: “There was a lack of diversity in the lack of diversity. This became most apparent when Rock brought three Asian children to the stage, posing as bankers from finance firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers,” remarked Jessica Contrera of The Washington Post.

Moving on to the winners, Leonardo DiCaprio finally managed to break his unlucky cycle of nominations with a well-deserved Best Leading Actor win for ‘The Revenant.’ Brie Larson took home the trophy for the Best Leading Actress, while Alicia Vikander and Mark Rylance were victorious in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories respectively. The night’s biggest honor, Best Picture, went to ‘Spotlight,’ a biographical crime drama about The Boston Globes’ journalist investigation unit of the same name. As for the most wins, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ easily managed to race past the others with 6 Oscars (Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Make-up and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing).

Despite the ratings slip, the 2016 Oscars still managed to be in the center of the world’s attention with Leonardo DiCaprio’s win setting a new Twitter record and #Oscars trending on nearly every social media platform.

Don’t forget to check out the full list of winners at oscar.go.com

Beqa Kirtava

03 March 2016 17:40