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Academy Awards - statistics & facts

At times, a sequel might not be as thrilling as the first installments, but it still outperforms the most recent iterations. This applies to movies as well as to the 94thAcademy Awards ceremony, broadcast live on March 27, 2022. This edition recorded a number of TV viewers in the United States almost 48 percent higher than in 2021. However, it was the second-lowest figure reported in this century, indicating that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still struggles to attract cinephiles to the silver screen. In 2022, less than four percent of people in the U.S. aged between 18 and 49 years watched the Oscars. And even in the weeks leading up to the event, three out of four American adults had already stated they were "not likely at all" to watch the Academy Awards that year.

What is the Oscars ceremony about?

The Academy aims at rewarding the best performances in movies, both in front of and behind the cameras. Because this judgment is subjective and influenced by specific campaigns – often disconnected from the marketing strategy designed for the masses – the Academy's picks are not necessarily blockbusters. Shortly before the 2022 edition, just two of the 10 Best Picture nominees were known among more than half of the adults interviewed in the U.S. Only 22 percent of respondents said they had heard of that year's winner, "CODA." The 94th ceremony arguably made history less because of who it rewarded and more due to an infamous incident. The moment actor Will Smith went on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the haircut of Smith's wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith, reverberated. Around that time, the only event as well known in the U.S. was Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In addition to being banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years, Will Smith's favorability ratings among U.S. adults plummeted.

Diversity within the Academy

In 2022, women accounted for 27 percent of the Oscar nominees in non-acting categories. This is the lowest share since before the pandemic. Critics of this discrepancy stress that diversity (or lack thereof) is an issue rooted in the voting body of the Academy. Between 2012 and 2022, the share of female Oscar voters grew by ten percentage points. Still, women accounted for about one-third of the voting members in the latter year. Meanwhile, movements like #OscarsSoWhite have been claiming that the award reinforces Hollywood's racial biases precisely because of the lack of ethnical diversity among those who decide who is eligible for an Oscar. Over four out of five voters at the Academy Awards were white in 2022. Regardless of the inferable spoilers, it remains to be seen if the Oscars will be able to combine cinema excellence, higher ratings, and the myriad of cultures and genders producing films.


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