BARRY DILLER: “Look, the woke thing swung too far. The beginning process of it, which is, we should be more aware and more sensitive, is rational and reasonable. But when you take it to the extremes that the woke community has taken it…that pendulum swung all the way up and to the side of the socket. And it’s now starting to come back.

“And part of its starting to come back is that there’s been opposition to it. Yes, it is a lot from the hard right, but it’s also from just ordinary, normal-thinking folk who say, ‘well, gee, that’s ridiculous.’ You know, it’s ridiculous to shut off speech because one person out of two thousand…it will be too sensitive for that person to hear that. I think that it’s just like many things, it just went too far.

Earlier in the conversation…

DILLER: “And then along comes the pandemic, and that increases the shift because people stay home more, etc., etc. So there are more subscriptions, etc. The entire movie business crashes because there’s no movie theaters, because people can’t go to the theaters. And that whole infrastructure of– the hegemony, let’s call it, of Hollywood, which had ruled for 75, 80 years, it only took three or four years for it to totally disappear. Totally disappear in the sense that it’s over. There is no hegemony anymore of those, let’s call it those major motion picture companies. It’s truly finished. It is never coming back.”

HOOVER: Is there a reform formula for the Oscars?

DILLER: “No — they are no longer a national audience worth its candle because that audience is really no longer interested.”

HOOVER: They’re not interested in the awards and the showmanship of the awards?

DILLER: “They’re not interested in the whole process of it. Just, by the way, the awards don’t reflect their interests either. It used to be that there was congruence between the movies that people went to see and the awards that were given to those movies that were most popular. Not that they were the most necessarily or the least artistic or whatever, but there was a real correlation between popular movies and the giving of blessings on those movies and the people in them. But that disappeared a while ago, and the awards went to movies that nobody watched, nobody went to see. And then no one went to see anything because the pandemic came. So the whole house has kind of collapsed upon itself. And what I think is, is that the awards ceremony should be for the industry and not for consumers. And that would change everything.”

HE to Diller: The Oscar audience has shrunk big-time, but a voice is telling me that it will hang on at the level it is now. It won’t drop any further.