Oscars Ratings Plunge to an All-Time Low Amid Best Actor Backlash
Viewership for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards set a new record low when it was broadcast on ABC on Sunday night, continuing a long trend of declining ratings that's plagued the Oscars for years. The televised event - which included awards given to Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor, Frances McDormand for Best Actress, and Nomadland for Best Picture - saw a drop of about 58% in its audience since last year's Oscars, the new all-time low in Academy Awards history.
According to delayed fast national results released by Nielsen, the Oscars was watched by about 9.85 million viewers, with a low 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic. In terms of this key demo, the show is down 64.2% compared to last year. For whatever reason, more and more people are seemingly giving up on the Academy Awards every year. The final numbers might change when streaming data gets weighed in, but the show is still expected to keep its status as the lowest-ever watched Oscars ceremony.
This isn't the only bad news to befall Hollywood's biggest night this year. The ending of the show was met with great controversy due to Anthony Hopkins winning Best Actor for The Father. Because the award was the final Oscar of the night, it was widely expected that Chadwick Boseman would posthumously win with a tribute to the actor closing the show. Comparing the reveal to the La La Land and Moonlight fiasco of 2017, many fans were quick to criticize what happened on Twitter.
Boseman fans were hoping to see the actor win, as this was his only Oscar nomination and the last chance to bestow the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom star with the honor. Hopkins has previously won the Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs, and given that he was also nominated last year for The Two Popes, the 83-year-old could very well earn more nominations in the future.
Making matters worse was that Anthony Hopkins was not present to accept his Best Actor award, making the end of the show feel underwhelming without so much as a speech from the winner. Hopkins has since posted his acceptance speech on Instagram, paying tribute to Boseman while accepting the award.
"At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award, I really didn't. I'm very grateful to the Academy, and thank you," Hopkins said. "And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early. And, again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this. So, I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you."
In addition to Hopkins' Best Actor win, other big Oscar winners of the night include Nomadland for Best Picture; Chloe Zano (Nomadland) for Best Director; Frances McDormand (Nomadland) for Best Actress; Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) for Best Supporting Actor; Youn Yuh-jung (Minari) for Best Supporting Actress; Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) for Best Original Screenplay; Pete Docter and Dana Murray (Soul) for Best Animated Feature Film; and Christopher Hamption and Florian Zeller (The Father) for Best Adapted Screenplay.
ABC will release final viewership numbers for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on Tuesday. This news comes to us from Deadline.