At center stage of film, the Oscars lack in representing numerous demographics, but especially that of cross-cultural individuals.
In recent years, the viewership of the Oscars has been dwindling. The glitz and glamour from the red carpet can only spur so much interest from an audience that wants more.
Of course, viewership shifted after the media exploded into discussion in relation to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Yet, while viewership for the show itself is low, it still reaches media outlets with large audiences.
Due to the Will Smith incident and varying other events, the 2022 Oscars have been deemed “the most social Oscars telecast on record,” as stated in Dominic Patten’s article revolving around last year’s event.
Viewership may be going down for this event, but the growing social media influence supported by a young demographic is promoting viewership in a different and more lighthearted way.
MAKING THE OSCARS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE
For an industry that favors old ideologies rooting from white masculine figures, the world needs change.
With a large audience to appeal to, and varying identities, activism has become a key attraction on this live, broadcasted event.
To reach the audience that still partakes in viewing the Oscars, movements such as “#OscarsSoWhite” and the “MeToo” movement have made an appearance on the well-known awards show.
Actors and actresses, especially, advocate for change. With the diminishing viewership, advocacy from well-known celebrity influences draws in a young audience.
The changing viewership and growing interest in social change following 2020 has spurred new conversations revolving around representation in the world of media.
PRESENCE OF VARYING IDENTITIES
With movements that advocate for wider representation and opportunities in the film industry, audiences have opinions of their own.
Avid film viewer Shannon Macey agrees that the Oscars lack representation and depiction of multifaceted audiences that encompass diversity and cross-cultural identities.
“It is valuable to see variety in the films we see,” said Macey. “I want to learn about new stories and identities, but with this industry I feel that there is no growth surrounding representation.”
Her insight on how the industry is lacking is reflective of sentiments from the Oscars audience. For decades, the Academy has been receiving backlash due to its lack of representation and overwhelming achievements from white males.
I want to learn about new stories and identities, but with this industry I feel that there is no growth surrounding representation.
The audience wants to witness change in this traditionally misrepresented industry to appeal to audiences that lack representation.
Even with a decrease in viewership of the Oscars, films that are highlighted at the awards show are still influential toward audiences. Change, advocacy and communication can inspire growth in this industry to appeal to underrepresented groups.