Multiple organizations recognize the greatest achievement in film each year, though none as are highly-regarded as the Academy Awards. The Oscars often make tweaks to its ceremony and categories each year, with news that it would begin to recognize the "Best Popular Film" raising eyebrows from film lovers everywhere. Even the Razzies, an organization that celebrates the "worst" in film each year, are poking fun at the Academy's new category in an open letter.
"The Razzies don't always get it right," it says. "We get called on it. We usually ignore it because well — who takes the Razzies seriously? But seriously we're not the Oscars. The Oscars are not the low-brow $4.97 statuette that reminds otherwise good talent they done bad or the talent-free they done made too much money," the Razzies shared in a statement. "The Oscars lowering themselves to 'honor' popular fare just to get more eyeballs is not conducive to their brand. Everyone depends on Oscar to point out the good stuff that might not otherwise be seen. We sift through bottom-of-the-barrel mindless popular and sometimes unpopular entertainment. The Razzies invite the 'dis-honored' to humble themselves and 'own their bad.' That's our job."
Last week, the Academy took to Twitter to announce changes coming to next year's Oscars, which included "a new category is being designed around achievement in popular film," "we've set an earlier airdate for 2020: mark your calendars for February 9," and "we're planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast."
These updates were met with near-universal disappointment, with most film fans citing that box office numbers are typically metrics used to celebrate "popular" film. With the vagueness of their tweet, it's possible that the new award won't necessarily be "Best Popular Film" but another specific distinction, though fans are already nervous about what this will mean for next year's ceremony.
Despite being considered the most prestigious ceremony for film each year, the organization regularly catches criticism for how it handles its selections for Best Picture. After decades of five films being nominated for Best Picture, the ceremony in 2010 expanded to allow for 10 nominees after films like The Dark Knight were ignored for Best Picture, seemingly for not being considered a "prestigious" enough film for Academy voters. In years since, films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Get Out have earned the nomination, with fans now concerned that genre films will be relegated to the popular film category in the future.
The Razzies warned, "So a tip to our older more distinguished bald brother: You are our inspiration — don't fail us now. The Razzies are co-dependent on Oscar. If you are devalued — so are we."
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