Ratings prove interest in Oscars wanes

Regardless of the Twitter war between President Trump and Oscars telecast host Jimmy Kimmel, the unavoidable fact is found in a statistic: The TV ratings for the Oscars show fell by about 20 percent from the 2017 broadcast, marking four consecutive years of decline.

Political climate is but one reason for the decline.

There could be a variety of reasons for that, not the least of which is that Hollywood is dueling with politicians in a near constant, and wearying, cacophany.

It could be an issue of oversaturation.

The Oscars once were about the glamor and glitz of stars, who were gleaming lights on the silver screen, not readily accessible in an endless barrage of talk show appearances, social media comments and the 24/7 news cycle.

It could be the politicization of just about anything and everything into red vs. blue in America has left people weary. Instead of a celebration of the art form that is the cinema, the telecast ends up being just another few hours of politicking, jabbing and trading of barbs, as well as whatever cause of the moment is being championed by the mainstream of Hollywood.

It could be that often, the movies that are up for the Oscars are not seen by a majority of viewers. With the exception of the thriller-racial relations commentary “Get Out” written by Jordan Peele, many of the films up for awards probably were unseen by the average viewer. It doesn’t mean they’re not good works. It means they’re more the subject of awards by peers instead of awards by audience. Gone are the days when popular films such as “The Sting,” or “The Godfather” were up for multiple honors.

Factor in the ability to avoid the hours-long event in favor of seeing highlights on cellphone apps, and it’s a perfect storm of reasons to declare the Oscars telecast as something less than it used to be.

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