LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced some of the biggest changes to the Oscars in its nearly century-long history.
Starting with the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020, a new Oscar will be awarded for achievement in popular film. It’s a separate category from the Best Picture trophy, although the Hollywood Reporter reports that films will likely be able to compete for both prizes.
The legendarily lengthy Oscars telecast will also be shortened, which means certain awards will not be presented during the live broadcast – another major break with Academy Awards tradition. Winners in less prominent categories will likely receive their awards during commercial breaks, reports THR, with highlights from those presentations edited and aired later in the broadcast.
Finally, awards season will shrink by a few weeks: the 2020 Oscars will be handed out on February 9. The 2019 Oscars will proceed as planned on February 24.
Change is coming to the #Oscars. Here's what you need to know:
– 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.
– We're planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast. pic.twitter.com/oKTwjV1Qv9
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 8, 2018
Social media reaction was swift:
We shouldn't be separating "popular" and "best." A film can be both. Some of the greatest films in history ARE both. If a blockbuster like "Black Panther" hits the national conscience and is worthy of a Best Picture nod then it shouldn't be degraded just because people liked it.
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) August 8, 2018
As usual, the Academy is trying to solve problems by creating new problems. Popular films get nominated for Oscars every single year, and often the top-grossing film of the year wins the top prizes. This change condescends to both art-house filmmakers and blockbuster filmmakers.
— MZS (@mattzollerseitz) August 8, 2018
It's also astounding that the Academy will seemingly jump through all these hoops and disrespect countless film professionals before they'll consider … starting the Oscars at 6pm?
— Joe Reid (@joereid) August 8, 2018
Popular film should… be nominated in general? What’s been defined as Oscar worthy or Oscar bait has been defined by the pretensions of white people.
— Ira (@ira) August 8, 2018
“The Oscars are creating a special category for Outstanding Popular Film” is the most withering insult I’ve ever heard
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) August 8, 2018
The announcement came hours after John Bailey was elected to a second term as Academy president Tuesday night.