Oscars Dead? Quota System Might Be Last Straw

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Mar/25/2022

We'll know this week just how well the Oscars perform for bookmakers, but the writing is on the wall.

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Plunging ratings and now a quota system that Hollywood appears to be embracing, movie fans might not.

LA Mag breaks down how it will work:

Starting in 2024, producers will be required to submit a summation of the race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status of members of their movie’s cast and crew. If a particular movie does not have enough people of color or disabled people or gays or lesbians working on the set—and what is “enough” will be determined by a knotty tangle of byzantine formularies—then that movie will no longer be eligible for an Oscar.

Scott Johnson of LA Magazine went on to explain the pushback from critics.

Critics say it’s invasive, anticreative, opens the door to privacy issues, and is spectacularly unfair to actors and crew members, who may want to keep their sexual orientation or health profiles to themselves, not to mention to producers and directors who have enough to worry about while shooting a movie than to be saddled with the thankless task of tallying up the identity markers of their creative partners. 

Last year, the Oscars drew an all-time low of 9.85 million viewers.

This year, the Best Film category includes movies most of us have never heard of, let alone seen. 

The Power of the Dog, favored to win Best Picture at BetUS, received a 76% audience score on the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.  This critics loved it, but the folks who paid to see it were underwelmed.  None of us went on to attend Ivy League colleges by getting a "76" score on our tests in high school. 

Code is the co-favorite.  Granted that film has garnered much better approval from audiences who grade it at 93%.

Belfast, though, seems to be the film everyone is talking about.  It pays $1400 for every $100 bet to win, and it won't.  Belfast also scored a high 92%. 

Johnson concludes:

The Oscars are tanking. And no matter how well-intentioned Aperture 2025 may be, the initiative isn’t going to fix that problem. On the contrary, at this rate, by 2025, filmmakers with even the most equitable and diverse sets may not give a damn whether their films are eligible for an Oscar or not because hardly anyone will be watching.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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