This year’s Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars) will most likely have lower ratings than in previous years. This is due to 1) the ceremony being too political (which is probably why there will not be a host this year), 2) the length of the ceremony, 3) people choosing to watch other programming, engage in other activities, etc., 4) the hype and the fashion show that go along with the Oscars, and 5) people relying on the internet to find out who won the Best Actor award, who won the Best Actress award, which film won the Best Picture award, etc.
The 26 th Academy Awards of 1954 is a case in point when it comes to the ceremony being lengthy. The ceremony had been running longer than expected, and due to NBC (which provided the coverage) having a strict cut-off policy, actor William Holden (after winning the Best Actor Award for his role in Stalag 17) simply said “thank you” in his acceptance speech. Thus, he did not intend to be rude, although he was frustrated since he had many people he wanted to thank, and later did so by having advertisements placed in the Hollywood trade publications.
Interestingly, Holden felt that he should not have won Best Actor. Instead, he felt the award should have gone to Burt Lancaster or Montgomery Clift for their roles in From Here to Eternity. Meanwhile, Holden’s wife believed he had won as a form of compensation for not winning Best Actor from his role in Sunset Boulevard.
Another interesting story involving the Oscars is when George C. Scott was nominated for Best Actor given his performance in Patton. Scott sent a letter to the Motion Picture Academy stating he did not want to be in competition with other actors on the grounds that it was unfair. His attitude towards the Oscars was “the whole thing is a god d—n meat parade. I don’t want any part of it.” Scott would win the Best Actor performance but refused to accept it. He did not even attend the Academy Awards ceremony, and was said to have stayed home watching a hockey game.
It should be noted that Scott had previously rejected the Best Actor award for his performance in The Hustler.
Marlon Brando would follow suit when he refused the Best Actor award for his role in the Godfather.
At any rate, most people have less interest in the Academy Awards, and even if they were interested, they would look up the results on the internet rather than sit through several hours of presentations and musical performances.