The Oscar telecast hit a six-year low in the ratings, losing 17% of the previous year’s audience, about 6 million viewers. Last year’s telecast hit a ten-year high, which proved to be unsustainable. Writes the Hollywood Reporter:
After metered market ratings brought dips — the year’s show dropped 10 percent, to an average 25 rating among households and a 38 share — final ratings for the series fell 17 percent in the key demographic of adults 18-49 to a 10.8 rating.
With time zone adjustments for the period of 8:30 p.m. to 11:46 p.m. ET, the audience for the ABC telecast also fell by more than 6 million viewers from the previous year. The live telecast averaged 36.6 million viewers.
This year’s Academy Awards show had several instances of political agitating, and it is not unusual for Hollywooders to use the spotlight to push a political agenda. Perhaps this behavior turns away potential viewers; no one wants to get lectured about politics under the guise of an “entertainment” show.
Patricia Arquette, winner of the best supporting actress award, used her acceptance speech to lecture the audience of millionaires about wage inequality for women. She thanked “every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation” who has “fought for everyone else’s equal rights.” She went on to say: “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
John Legend, who won an award along with rapper Common for the best original song “Glory,” complained about the Voting Rights Act being compromised. “We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country.”
Maybe it’s just me, but people don’t want to spend their Sunday night being called sexist or racist by a bunch of rich, privileged people during a ceremony celebrating themselves. (Taking home a bag of goodies worth $165K, nonetheless.) Who else could these celebrities be talking about other than the Academy Awards TV audience: the people they expect to buy tickets to their movies and make them rich?