Award Show Relevancy: Debrief

Thursday (04/28/2021) – I started off the open-forum discussion by taking a poll to determine who within the class actively watches award shows and who does not. About 7 people raised their hand for yes, and about 5 raised their hand for no. Following that, I went around the circle and asked everyone what their initial opinions / thoughts about award shows so that I could get the general “vibe” of how and where the discussion was going to go. The general consensus was that although award shows are fun, they feel a little dystopian and are just an excuse for celebrities to party. It is worth noting that multiple people preferred watching the red carpet over the actual award ceremony as it’s exciting to see and judge what celebrities wear.

            The biggest talking point of the deliberation was the Will Smith v. Chris Rock incident that occurred during the 2022 Oscars. While there were a lot of mixed opinions, it was clear that people are too invested in celebrities’ personal lives / drama. For example, one classmate made the point that people are more likely to talk badly about a couple who is public rather than private Some also felt as if the backlash against Jada Smith was sexist in the sense that she was the victim of the joke yet some watchers blamed her.. Most classmates felt as if Will Smith was punished too harshly due to the slap happening on live television (not behind the scenes) and the academy being worried about their reputation.  

            In conclusion, the class determined that award shows only confirm that we as a society only value pretty faces and what is considered to be tangible (since that’s the easiest way to make a profit). We also determined that award shows are performative and suggest that in the future they open up more to public so that they feel more inclusive / relatable.

Award Show Relevancy

Since the early 1930’s, the biggest nights within the entertainment industry are those upon which award shows are broadcasted across the globe. The most notable and respected of which are The Oscars (film), The Emmys (television), The Grammys (music) and The Tonys (theater). While most people find a passion in creating / filling out brackets that predict the award recipients and throughout the year follow trends by watching “smaller” award ceremonies such as the Golden Globes, The People’s Choice Awards…etc., others could quite frankly care less. This is because of the widely held opinion that, today, awards shows are designed to be more performative and politicized rather than having actual value or meaning.  

In the past, people worldwide would have to tune into the live airing of the award shows in order to find out the winners. As a society, watching the award ceremony was a big ordeal and often was used as an excuse to throw a party and hang out with friends. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to get live updates from social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram or Google the award recipients the following morning rather than watching the actual award ceremony. This is partially since the award ceremonies can reach up to 3 hours in length, which is a long time considering very little awards are actually presented. Also, it’s disappointing to watch the projects that deserve to win (or at the very least nominated / recognized) be “snubbed” year after year due to what appears to be a non-progressive board of voters.

So, what does this mean for the future of award shows? While it’s unlikely that they will disappear completely, it is assumed that they might transition into a more privet event like the Golden Globes, which as of 2021 is no longer being televised due to a lack of viewership and the amount of backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for not being diverse enough. Regardless of the way our opinions may sway when it comes to the topic of award shows, it’s important to note their contribution to popular culture and society as a whole.