BRIAN VINER: It’s little wonder that Sky has decided to ditch its Oscars broadcast… who would want to sit through this pompous woke-fest anyway?
Only once have I sat through the entire Academy Awards ceremony from start to finish.
It was 1995 and I was at a showbiz party in New York at which we were all invited to throw in $50 and make our predictions for every category, with the winner taking the pot.
My fellow guests watching the live TV broadcast included Christopher Reeve and the great director Sidney Lumet.
It was perhaps the last truly vintage Oscars year, with Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Four Weddings And A Funeral and Quiz Show competing for Best Picture.
(Alas I plumped for Shawshank ahead of Gump and finished dead last.)
Sky has decided to ditch its Oscars ceremony broadcast after taking over the rights in 2004
Today, the ‘watchability’ of the Oscars is reliant on something dramatic happening, as in 2017 when the Best Picture was mistakenly given to La La Land instead of Moonlight, or when Will Smith slapped host Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife.
Otherwise, the ceremony has become unendurable, as self-regarding actors, directors, writers and producers use their moment in the spotlight to preach about whatever might be the latest fashionable woke message.
Little wonder that, after 20 years, Sky has decided to ditch its Oscars broadcast – and I feel entirely unmoved.
Actors have always liked to grandstand.
It’s half a century since Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather (pictured) to decline his Best Actor award for The Godfather, as a protest against Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans
It’s half a century since Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor award for The Godfather, as a protest against Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans.
But behaviour like that was the exception in those days. Now it’s the norm.
Nothing devalues the crazy hoopla like puffed-up stars, led to believe their own publicity by simpering reporters, subjecting us to their pomposity.
It’s possible another broadcaster will take over. But if they expect people to sit up half the night, like they used to when the Oscars meant something, they haven’t been watching either.
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