“I don’t really understand it. I haven’t read the rules of the thing. It seems pretty dumb, but I guess that’s above my pay grade,” he said.
Disney reportedly made the push for the controversial category as Disney-owned ABC, who airs the Oscars, saw an all-time low in ratings in 2018. The awards show experienced an ongoing slump in viewership with a decline nearing 40 percent since 2014, and making fan-favorite hit blockbusters like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War eligible for golden statues is expected to bring more eyes to the usually-stuffy proceedings.
“I don’t really understand what it means. Who accepts the award? What’s the criteria for it? Is it based off of box office?” Isaac said. “I don’t really get it. But the truth is, I mean, I don’t in general. The reason why people get awards and why they don’t now is already a slippery slope. Another category seems a little meaningless, but maybe not any more than the rest of it is.”
Isaac joined the Academy as a voting member in 2016. If the category is maintained, it could one day see Isaac’s own Star Wars: Episode IX up for the award, where the actor reprises his role as hotshot Resistance pilot Poe Dameron for a third movie.
The Academy’s decision to create a new category intended to honor “popular” films was cheekily criticized by the Razzies — an organization that doles out awards to the “worst” of Hollywood’s offerings each year — who said Hollywood’s most prestigious award ceremony is now “lowering themselves to ‘honor’ popular fare just to get more eyeballs,” and that the move “is not conducive to their brand.”
Despite the emergence of the new category, Disney — also behind the latest Star Wars trilogy — intends to lobby Marvel Studios’ Black Panther for Best Picture, which would come as a genre first. Earlier this year, Fox’s Marvel Comics adaptation Logan became the first comic book movie to earn an Academy Award nomination in a writing category.
Star Wars: Episode IX opens December 20, 2019.