Yesterday there was a new Oscar award category announced by the Academy for “Outstanding Popular Film”.
In a new report from Variety, it has been revealed that the idea for the new changes and award category came from Disney-ABC. They explained:
Days after the 90th Academy Awards telecast aired in March to record-low viewership, Disney-ABC Television Group executives met with leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to convey a message:
You are facing irrelevance.
Disney-ABC has a long-term partnership with the Academy to broadcast the Oscars through 2028, which is long past the point where anyone can predict how the legendary movie awards show would be doing. They obviously are desperate to keep the awards show relevant, especially with all of the other award shows that it’s competing with.
Apparently, Disney-ABC has been pushing for these changes for a while and sources at the network “expressed relief Wednesday that the Academy had finally taken action.” As for the backlash on social media regarding the changes, they aren’t bothered by it.
Network insiders were also unmoved Wednesday by evident social-media backlash to the announcement, particularly to the addition of the popular film category, noting that changes to longstanding institutions such as the Oscars often yield complaints, and predicting that audiences would ultimately embrace the new format.
Disney is home to some of the most popular film franchises in Hollywood. They’ve got Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and all of the other films they produce. So, an “Outstanding Popular Film” award is certainly going to benefit them and help them market their movies.