The 2020 Oscars aired last week, and they followed two major trends; presenters and recipients made a whopping number of politically laden, “woke” speeches and the ratings absolutely tanked. In recent weeks, both the Grammys and the Golden Globes saw massive declines in viewership, with double digit drops and a profound lack of interest from one of the most coveted demographics — adults aged 18-49.
The massive decline in viewership coincides with a huge uptick in politically charged, woke speeches and “jokes” by both presenters and recipients at these recent awards programs. Hating President Trump is also a common theme, and the more actors and actresses virtue signal, the fewer viewers the programs have. Once ratings powerhouses, awards shows, including the Oscars, now have ratings in free fall, with no end in sight.
Oscar’s ratings have been slowly declining over the past few years, including a modest decline just last year. The massive 20% drop this year came as a surprise; the show lost over 3 million viewers over last year’s broadcast. If the 20% dive wasn’t bad enough, the show’s ratings came in at 11% below the previous “lowest rated” Oscars broadcast.
Even before the broadcast, the Oscar’s chances of success looked dim. After several hosting flops and a public fallout with proposed host Kevin Hart late last year, the Oscars decided to go with no host at all.
This decision also aligned with the Golden Globes performance by host Ricky Gervais. Seeing an opportunity, the British comedian poked fun at woke Hollywood, aiming his ire at the over the top politics of acceptance speeches and at the stars themselves. After that broadcast, the Oscars may have decided that no host at all was better than one that mocked the participants.
The host-less Oscars descended into anarchy, with both winners and presenters prattering on about their political agendas, and lecturing the few viewers who bothered to turn up.
Those viewers who did tune in were treated to the same lineup of lectures and complaints as in previous years and other recent awards programs. From lecturing viewers about the climate and their food choices (we should all be vegan, according to one winner), winners took the stage not to give thanks, but to use it as a platform for their own narrow views.
The recent trend of plummeting ratings for awards shows neatly coincides with the use of these programs not for entertainment or even expressing thanks — but for lecturing viewers and airing grievances. Unless the Oscars and other awards programs realize this connection, they may not be able to sustain even the small audience they’ve managed to cling to.