The litany of disappointments and mini-scandals that came out of the 2022 Academy Awards broadcast have generated a lot of negative response, including public criticism from Star Wars and Muppets performer Frank Oz. Oz, who is a writer and director as well as the original voice of Master Yoda and Miss Piggy, took to social media yesterday to express his frustration with the Academy Awards, but made it clear his criticism is unrelated to Will Smith's well-publicized outburst. Instead, Oz told his followers that he was frustrated by the Academy's apparent decision to put the art of film in the back seat so that they could pursue a bigger TV audience.
Long before the broadcast itself, the Academy drew criticism for their decisions to remove a number of categories from the telecast. In hopes of generating interest in the broadcast, the Academy also created a pair of special awards to be voted on by fans on social media, which was not warmly received by hardcore cinemaphiles.
You can see his tweet below.
After being a member for 30 years I’m embarrassed to be associated with the Oscars telecast.Not because of “The Slap” but because of the phoniness of the show. All I sense is a desperate attempt to get more viewers by any means possible, not a show about the love of making movies— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) March 29, 2022
Oz stopped short of calling out any one frustration specifically, but reading between the lines, it would not be difficult to assume he asn't a fan of either of the aforementioned decisions by the Academy.
Ironically, while most of Twitter was fuming over the Chris Rock/Will Smith row, Oz quipped, "At last! Something real at The Oscars!"
It seems unlikely things are going to improve for Oz and other film fans, though: CNN reported yesterday that ratings had "surged" relative to 2021. While that still gives this year's broadcast the second-lowest ratings ever, anything that reverses the downward slide of the ratings is likely to be embraced by the Academy -- and by the networks. After all, some of the changes that drew so much criticism were required by ABC, who aired the awards show this year.0comments