The Ratings Are in for the Oscars—and They're Not Pretty

Jonathan Van Ness arrives at the 2020 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

What’s your favorite movie that won an Oscar last year? No Googling.

I know. Me neither!

The 2020 Oscars were unusual in that I actually saw several of the films that were nominated. And by “several” I mean “exactly four.” However, this year’s Oscars were not unusual in that I didn’t bother watching the ceremony on TV. I didn’t really care about any of the nominated films except Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and I assumed it wouldn’t win anything because Tarantino makes movies to please audiences, not critics.* The only other reason to watch is to see what all the famous people are wearing, and now we don’t even have that excuse because the celebs are all pledging to wear the same outfits for the entire awards season because it’ll save the planet or something.


I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Viewership was way, way down this year. Lowest Oscar ratings ever! Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter:

ABC’s Oscar telecast reached all-time lows in the ratings, falling sharply from last year.

The three-hour-plus broadcast averaged about 23.6 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49, well below the 29.56 million and 7.7 for last year’s awards — which aired two weeks later…

The Oscars join the Emmy Awards in suffering steep ratings declines. The September 2019 Emmy broadcast on Fox fell by 32 percent in viewers and 29 percent in adults 18-49 from the previous year. By comparison, the declines for January’s Golden Globes (off by 4 percent in viewers and 10 percent in the 18-49 demo) and Grammys (down 6 percent in viewers, 4 percent in the demo) were fairly slight.

Ouch. Get woke, go broke.

As with all the other problems Hollywood is having these days, I’m sure they’ll blame this one on the audience. Nobody has the attention span to sit through a movie trailer unless it’s preceded by a 5-second mini-trailer for the trailer. So how are we supposed to sit through three and a half freaking hours of celebrities congratulating themselves while scolding all the little people at home for voting the wrong way, and not being communists, and… um… drinking milk?


Why bother watching live when you can see the handful of memorable moments online?

You might blame the low viewership on the lack of a host for the second year, after Kevin Hart got #cancelled for bad tweets. Yeah, maybe. I don’t know who would get people to tune in, though. Louis CK? Bill Cosby? Harvey Weinstein? Maybe they could release Billy Crystal from cryo-sleep.

If Hollywood really cared about the things they claim to care about, they wouldn’t hold these decadent, wasteful, planet-ruining awards ceremonies anyway. All of this could be handled with a group email. But then they wouldn’t get all the glory. Their narcissistic supply ain’t just gonna replenish itself!

*Brad Pitt did get a Best Supporting Actor award for beating up minorities and women. And Parasite was the best movie I read last year. So it wasn’t all bad!



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