The season of awards started on the 6th January with the Golden Globes Award Ceremony held in the United States. The 25th of February will be the day the 91st Academy Awards, a.k.a. Oscars, will be held in Los Angeles. Media has been trying to stir up public interest in these awards, trying to predict the winners and publishing news about the nominees on a daily. We are trying to understand why the excitement around the awards ceremonies today seems artificial and outdated.
Precious time that you will never get back
The broadcasting of Oscars awards began in 1930 on the radio. The award was first shown on television in 1953, and the first television broadcast of the Golden Globes happened 5 years later in 1958. Over the next half a century the presentations of the ceremonies became more spectacular and technically advanced. The broadcasts themselves were of much higher quality but still remained a bit monotonous.
Today, just like 10 and even 20 years ago, you are first shown the red carpet, so you can look at the stars in gorgeous dresses and listen to their responses to some questions from journalists (most often it will be “What are you wearing?”). Then you will look at the presenter who will aim to be funny (best presenter, in my opinion, was Ellen a couple of years ago), hear the lists of nominees from the shortlist, see how the audience responds, how the winners get up on the stage and give their powerful speeches. The broadcasting of awards ceremonies takes approximately two to five hours, and this is quite a lot, considering the modern-day attention span.
There will, of course, be attempts to modernise the ceremony ensuring greater racial diversity, gender equality and inclusiveness. This is undoubtedly important for the film industry and society as a whole, but the prizes are, unfortunately, becoming less and less important in encouraging new ideas and views. This also does not help make the process of selecting nominees more transparent and understandable.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that 2018 was marked as a year when interest in such ceremonies started to decline significantly. The audience of Golden Globes has been decreasing each year over the past few years, and last year the TV ratings fell by 5%. Oscars, still the leader in television audience among non-sports broadcasts, fell by 19% in 2018. The Grammy Awards are also losing TV audience interest.
The Internet is against award ceremonies
The Internet could be a new platform for broadcasting of Oscars and Golden Globes ceremonies, however, the audience figures are not much more positive there. A complete list of winners appears immediately after the ceremony of any major award. All the best/worst dressed lists are also online within seconds. The best moments will be collected on Instagram and YouTube in a convenient selection for a maximum of 15 mins of reading. Today, you can choose for yourself what exactly you want to know about the last ceremony and just search for that specifically. But the main question is – does the average person need to know all this at all?
The general fatigue of a modern person from being in a constant flow of information is visible, and even the largest and most authoritative awards turn into information noise. Today, there are about a dozen major awards in the entertainment industry, and they are all quite similar to each other. With the constant rise of the Internet, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep the award ceremonies interesting and exciting.
Awards are slowly losing their status as a lighthouse in the world of pop culture. Their monotony is boring to the audience, decisions about the winners often cause bewilderment or accusations of trying to satisfy the wrong interests. A significant amount of the information they generate is simply not needed to the majority of the population. Glamour and celebrity culture will always be relevant, but the format of the modern ceremonies needs to be changed or at least modernised.
Did you watch the Golden Globes 2019 ceremony last night?
Text: Irina Gorskaia
Images: Golden Globes Archives, Hollywood Reporter