Back in 2018, the Academy Awards announced a new Oscar, to be given to the Best Popular Film of the year. The idea was to recognize the blockbusters that typically dominate the box office but never manage to make it to the Best Picture category. It didn’t go over well, and now it’s getting worse.
The original announcement of the new category was roundly criticized, partially because it was a very naked attempt to get more people to watch the Academy Awards ceremony, partially because it would almost certainly knock those blockbusters out of Best Picture contention, and largely because the category seemed to have been created so the immensely popular Black Panther could win an Oscar, which gave off a real unpleasant “separate but equal” vibe. So the Academy decided to take the idea back to the workshop and try to figure out how it might work, and decided, somehow, that Twitter was the answer.
Starting today, and going through March 3, people can vote on 2021's Best Popular Movie on Twitter using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite. Yes. Twitter.
I would say that the Academy must have some system in place to keep people from voting more than the 20 allowed times per day, or for voting for multiple films, but the fact it thought bringing this decision to Twitter in the first place was a good idea pretty much proves to me that this decision hasn’t been thought through. At the very least, there’s absolutely no way the Academy has planned for whatever horrible sustained fan campaigns and bots and all the other horrors on Twitter that will make this a total farce.
I have a hard time imagining any movie other than Spider-Man: No Way Home easily winning the “award”—which isn’t an official Oscars category, by the way, so really who the hell cares—but you probably can’t count out the Snyder-bro fanatics from trying to push Zack Snyder’s Justice League into the top spot.
Fans will also be able to vote for their favorite movie scenes via the #OscarsCheerMoment hashtag, which will be shown during the Academy Awards broadcast on March 23. The plan is also to give three voters an all-expenses-paid trip to the ceremony so they can present an award in 2023, for some reason. Of course, this is all assuming this doesn’t immediately devolve into a spectacular shit-show. I’d go to Twitter to check it out, but then I’d have to get on Twitter, which, ick.
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