Thelma Adams to Sasha Stone about how the factors of racism and homophobia have affected Oscar viewership: “When Republicans like Trump spent the past 10 years mocking Hollywood and rightwing cranks spent decades fear-mongering about the mythical liberal agenda, why the heck would we not expect to see 10 or 15 million Republican viewers stop watching?

“A huge number of those people that have abandoned the Oscars would rather sit in the dark on Oscar Night rather than risk seeing any LGBTQ Oscar winners thank their partners for their love and support. Why do we even want those people watching the Oscars with us?

“Do I have any proof for my suspicions? Well, only circumstantial, but there’s this: What was the very first year that Oscar ratings plummeted from the 40 million range to the 30 million range? It was 2003, the year after Denzel and Halle won, that’s when.

“And what other shift in the Oscars coincided precisely with the steady decline in viewers? The decline began right after movies like Brokeback Mountain and Milk and Dallas Buyers Club started winning major awards, that’s when. So those changes that caused the Oscars to lose wrongheaded viewers were not anything the Oscars did wrong. Those viewers stopped watching when the Oscars began doing things right. It was the new era of [embracing] progress that upset several million viewers. How’s that for a theory?”