The decline of awards shows


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Chloe Zhao wins Best Picture for “Nomadland.”

From moments like Jennifer Lawrence tripping on the stairs before accepting her award to Lupita Nyong’o in her sky blue Prada Dress in 2014, The Academy Awards is one of the most influential aspects in American entertainment and pop culture. However, with the record low ratings of the 93rd Academy Awards, it seems that the once impenetrable award shows like the Oscars and the Golden Globes could be coming to an end.

The days where people would gather in their living rooms with friends and family to watch the Oscars are gone. The best-case scenario for many in today’s age is reading a 5-minute recap the next day. So, what contributed to this significant shift in American society?

The recent pandemic has completely changed our entertainment dynamic. Before, movie theaters, concerts, plays, and more kept people connected to live entertainment. Despite attempts to save live entertainment such as drive-in movies, streaming services are all the rage now.

Streaming services provide convenience and variety in ways that live entertainment cannot. Services like Netflix and Hulu create movie queues tailored to an individuals’ wants, and people can watch movies and TV shows with the click of a mouse. The Oscars can no longer keep up with the changing cinematic scene unless a significant change occurs.

Another obstacle for award shows is the restrictions due to the pandemic. The top actors, directors, and more used to travel worldwide to attend this prestigious event; however many people did not make it to the 2021 Oscars and either attended virtually or not at all. The previous prestige and viewership has been (understandably) compromised for attendees’ safety.

Although there is a possibility for a comeback if executives play their cards right once live entertainment fully revives and other factors are back to normal, it is hard to sway the public back to their old ways. Only time will tell how people will react to the world post-pandemic.