The ratings for Oscars hit a historic low this year. The 93rd Academy Awards saw a decline in viewership of 58.3 percent, according to a Variety report that cited Nielsen’s preliminary numbers.
Only 9.85 million viewers tuned in to Hollywood’s biggest night, compared to 14 million last year (which held the record for the lowest ratings prior to Sunday’s ceremony). The show scored a 1.9 rating among adults ages 18-49, which is a 64.2 percent dip in that category since last year.
On social media, some blamed the show’s attempt to be “too woke” with the drop in viewership.
“I can’t tell if it’s because of wokeness, or that they knew their ratings would be plummeting so they said f**k it and went full woke knowing no one would be watching,” Twitter user @CUnorthodoxx wrote.
“Because everyone’s sick of rich a**holes lecturing everyone else on how to think and live,” another user wrote.
Despite the lack of viewers, there were some historic wins at the Oscars including Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson becoming the first Black women to win for hair and makeup for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom;” and Chloé Zhao becoming the first woman of color to a win the Best Director Award for “Nomadland.” Daniel Kaluuya also won the best supporting actor award for his portrayal of slain Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton.
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One of the biggest shocks of the night – which many considered an unforgivable snub – occurred when Anthony Hopkins won the best actor award over beloved, late actor Chadwick Boseman. Many thought Boseman was the clear choice for his portrayal of Levee Green in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
“A dying man gives the performance of a lifetime… The last performance of his lifetime… Leaves it all up there… and you don’t give him the trophy?!” writer and comedian Cyrus McQueen tweeted.
Other users encouraged Black people to stop looking to predominately white-run awards shows for recognition.
“From what Im (sic) gathering that Oscars are still white and we are still looking for validation at white institutions. Is that correct?” user @kzshabazz tweeted.
“You are right. Time to continue building independently. Media is a good place to start. Black countries and communities in the US can successfully create independent media,” user @Kwame_X responded.
Hopkins, who did not attend the awards, released a video the following day expressing his own shock and gratitude that he’d won. He also paid tribute to Boseman who he said had been “taken from us far too early.”