Society

2017 Oscars Viewership Drops To Nine-Year Low

| by Zara Zhi

Bad news for Hollywood. The Neilson Company reports that the 2017 Academy Awards had the lowest viewership since 2008 with 32.9 million viewers.

The tepid 89th Oscars show was hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and only received a market rating of 21.4/37, markedly down from the 2016 numbers, which were the lowest in eight years.

Additionally, the extravagant 2017 awards show was tarnished by a mix-up with the Best Picture announcement.

Presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty erroneously proclaimed "La La Land" as the winner for Best Picture after receiving the wrong envelope. The real winner was then revealed to be "Moonlight," reports Reuters.

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Many celebrities also voiced opposition to President Donald Trump, making the event more politically charged than in recent years, according to Daily Mail.

Kimmel made a few jokes at Trump's expense, and even said he would not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Kimmel started his speech by saying, "This broadcast is being watched by millions of Americans and around the world by more than 225 countries that now hate us and I think that is an amazing thing. As you know, I don't have to tell anybody, the country is divided right now."

He added, "Some of you will get to come up on this stage tonight and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow. And I think that’s pretty darn excellent if you ask me, so let’s get going."

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Iranian director Asghar Farhadi said he would not be not attending the Oscars in protest against Trump's immigration ban.

A statement was read on behalf of Farhadi when he won the best foreign film Oscar for "The Salesman."

The statement read: "I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S."

Conversely, some Trump supporters vowed to boycott the Academy Awards in demonstration against the "limousine liberals" who they say don't represent them.

The boycott was started by a Facebook page from Arizona women's group Tempe Republican Women, asking followers to vote with their remotes and turn off the Oscars.

"It is important that we, the deplorables, show the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Alec Baldwin, Cher ... that we, the backbone and decent people of America, are more united than the bitter, unhappy, angry, divisive people of the entertainment industry," the post read.

The Facebook post went on to call Hollywood liberals "arrogant, pompous, pampered soulless individuals" who are "evil-hearted."

In what experts observe as a distinct pattern of several years of downhill interest for the Oscars, last year was an 8 percent decline from the 2015 show, and the 2017 show was down 4 percent from the 88th annual awards in 2016, according to Deadline.

Sources: Reuters, Daily Mail, Deadline / Photo credit: Oscars.org

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