Variety‘s Kris Tapley is reporting that AMPAS has turned tail on its proposed Best Achievement in Popular Film Oscar, and that the expected Popular Oscar duel between Black Panther and A Star Is Born won’t be happening.
In explaining the sudden turnabout, the Academy has announced that the planned “popular” Oscar “merits further study.” Translation: Too many people (Tapley included) were appalled and hugely pissed off by the popular Oscar idea, lamenting that it would dilute or denigrate the Oscar brand, and so there won’t be a Best Achievement in Popular Film Oscar handed out at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.
HE to Team Roma: Before today there was a likely scenario that Roma might take the Best Picture Oscar (i.e., which had recently come to be more defined as the trophy for serious achievement in cinematic art) with either A Star Is Born or Black Panther winning the Popular Film Oscar. Now…who knows?
HE to Disney’s Black Panther awards-campaign team: Before today you had only one serious competitor for the Popular Film Oscar (i.e., Bradley Cooper‘s A Star Is Born) and a decent shot at snagging a regular Best Picture nomination. Now you won’t be taking home any gold at all because you’re not winning the regular Best Picture Oscar. You’ll be nominated but that’s all. Sorry, guys, but it’s over.
AMPAS stated that while they remain committed “to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies” (i.e., a Best Popular Film Oscar), they now recognize that implementing this new award nine months into the year “creates challenges for films that have already been released.” Translation: We got scared and decided to pull the plug for the time being, and take a fresh look at the situation next spring or summer.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson: “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”