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Fiascos litter the road to this year's Oscars

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:18s - Published < > Embed
Fiascos litter the road to this year's Oscars

Fiascos litter the road to this year's Oscars

It’s been a tough 12 months for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as it battles to restore its annual Oscars show to a must-see event after its television audience slumped to an all-time low last year.

Lisa Bernhard reports.

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Fiascos litter the road to this year's Oscars

And the award for most bungles, missteps and controversies goes to the folks behind this Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

[SOUNDBITE, REUTERS ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT JILL SERJEANT]: "It hasn't been an easy year for the Academy." That's Reuters entertainment correspondent Jill Serjeant, who notes that at a time when the Oscars are desperate to bounce back from last year's record-low viewership, the Motion Picture Academy - the group that bestows those gold-plated statues - seems to have done its best to try to screw things up.

[SOUNDBITE, REUTERS ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT JILL SERJEANT]: "There have been a number of missteps.

First of all, the controversy over the host." That would be Kevin Hart, who dropped out as host in December after a series of homophobic tweets he posted years ago re-surfaced.

He was replaced by no one, making this just the second time in the show's history that it will be without a host.

Another flop: the brouhaha over a new category for "popular films." [SOUNDBITE, REUTERS ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT JILL SERJEANT]: "Last summer, in attempt by the Academy to get more audiences for the annual show, they decided to introduce a new category just for 'popular' films - films that had done really well at the box office.

Unfortunately, that backfired within the industry.

There was such a backlash from people who didn't want to be separated into 'popular' categories and then 'unpopular' categories, so they withdrew that." The Academy came under fire again in January, this time accused by the Screen Actors Guild of pressuring celebrities not to appear or present on competing awards shows.

And last week yet another storm erupted when, as part of a pledge to shorten its telecast, plans to present awards for categories such as cinematography and film editing during commercial breaks were slammed as insulting by the Hollywood community.

Five days later, the plan was scrapped.

The Academy no doubt hoping its missteps haven't drowned out initial kudos over this year's diverse Oscar nominations list, which range from art house films like 'Roma' to the blockbuster 'Black Panther,' the first superhero movie ever to be nominated for an Academy Award.




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