Are the Oscars really worth all the hype?

People have become less and less interested in Hollywood award shows.

Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta


Photo by Universal Studios

“Green Book”, starring Viggo Mortenson and Mahershala Ali, is a strong candidate for this year’s Best Picture.

It’s that time of year again. People are waiting to hear which of their favorite films earned recognition from the academy. But why does it matter what a bunch of strangers think? In simple terms, it doesn’t. If you thought Margot Robbie deserved best lead actress for her performance in “I, Tonya” last year, or if you’re questioning why superhero movies (almost) never make it in the eyes of the academy, you’re not alone.

People have been questioning the process behind the Academy Awards for years now. The categories are regularly whitewashed and even when Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor for his role in “Moonlight” in 2017, his name was repeatedly made fun of by the host. Let’s not talk about the “La La Land” – “Moonlight” mix up.

These events and more are what made people begin to question the soundness of the voting process. Who votes for the Academy Awards? I’ve frequently heard the group referred to as a bunch of old white men. While that may have been the case in the past, there has since been a movement to add more diversity to the committee.

It’s also important to note that these aren’t just random people who have paid their way to be on this committee. New members must be sponsored by an existing member to even be considered for the position. Also, to vote they must be active during the 10 years prior in their field, whether it be acting, directing, makeup or music. The fact that the people voting are actually fellow professionals in the field definitely makes me feel as though they are adequately qualified.

This small bit of renewed confidence in the voting committee might help, but I’m not sure it’s enough to bring the award show back to its former glory.

Last year, people were expecting the Oscars to be some sort of big movement away from the whitewashing and other previous practices. After the Golden Globes featured most women wearing black and the men donning pins in support of the #MeToo movement, the Oscars were supposed to do something more.

Unfortunately, apart from a few pointed comments during the initial monologue, the event was fairly uneventful. So, here’s to hoping this year has something more to offer.

The nomination list already looks more promising than past years, with films like “Black Panther,” “Roma,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Green Book” all being nominated in multiple categories including best picture.

This year’s show is also different in that it will be running without a host. After Kevin Hart stepped down due to a series of homophobic tweets surfacing from his past, the academy decided to run the program without an MC instead of searching for someone new. While this is a new plan that might create a different tone for the show, hopefully, it will help keep the awards show moving at a faster pace.

So maybe few of my favorite films this year even made it to the nomination list, but that doesn’t mean the ones that made it instead aren’t good. There are a lot of people working behind the scenes to make each year’s show better and more inclusive than the last and I’m excited to see how this year compares.

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected].