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The Ugly Truth About Yet Another Oscar Ratings Debacle

The “dog bites man” part of the annual Oscars telecast has arrived.

The Oscar ratings for Sunday’s show, in which “The Shape of Water” won Best Picture, sunk yet again. How bad did they droop? Early estimates show a sizable 16 percent drop from last year, hardly a high-water mark itself. UPDATE: The collapse came in at 20 percent, making it the least seen Oscars telecast ever.

Most major awards shows are seeing a similar slump. Those very same shows have taken a sharp left turn in recent years. They pack the night with lectures, virtue signaling and gags mocking Red State USA.

Is it a coincidence that these shows are drawing fewer eyeballs? Of course not.

Oscars 2018: Celebrities Take A Stand, From #MeToo To Dreamers | NBC News

The dirty little secret, at least when it comes to the Oscar ratings, is that the powers that be don’t care about the numbers. Oh, they’ll say they do to the press and maybe each other. They’ll promise this time the show will focus on the movies, not the issues du jour.

Deep down, they don’t care.

Not a bit.

How can we be sure? Because the producers won’t change the current formula. In fact, they doubled down on it last night.

Host Jimmy Kimmel mocked both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. He eschewed jokes for oh, so woke platitudes about #MeToo, Times Up and other social justice concerns. Presenters and award winners alike demanded open borders and more gun control.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention had nothing on the 90th Oscar ceremonies.

RELATED: HiT’s 2018 Oscar Live Blog

A show that runs three full hours on a good year went north of three and a half hours thanks to limp running gags and copious clip montages.

All of the above is easily fixed. Gently tell the presenters and nominees to cut back on the sloganeering. Edit down the lengthy running gags. Tell Kimmel to tell jokes, not try to save the world via his 10 minute monologue.

Easy peasy.

So why didn’t we see that last night? Hollywood would rather lose viewers and squander the best three hour infomercial to send a message. To feel good about itself. And, most likely, deflect attention from the toxic culture exposed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

They knew.

All of the above is far more important than ratings. That leaves money on the table, but the problem is more widespread than that.

Collateral PR Damage

The Hollywood brand took another direct hit last night. Consumers who vowed to stay away from the telecast are reading the headlines today and applauding themselves for their foresight. Conservatives who trusted the producers’ promise for a less political show won’t make the same mistake twice.

Here’s arguably the biggest fallout from Sunday’s train wreck. Liberal movie lovers, seeking a night full of glamour and entertainment, walked away with very little joy or escapism.

Fail, fail fail.

Kimmel will emerge unscathed. The press ate up his woke presentation, and they’ll keep supporting his hard-left monologues on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” That show’s ratings will stay solid, in part because the fractured TV landscape allows for modestly successful programs to thrive.

Would the Oscar producers really invite him back next year? Why not? He did as told.

There’s No Business Like …

Show business has never been a more loaded term than today. The film industry clings to reboots, remakes and sequels because they offer greater return on investment. Audiences may complain about the lack of imagination they represent. Crowds still line up for these brand extensions.

Wanna bet against “Avengers: Infinity War” at the box office?

And then there’s the other side of Hollywood, where events like the Oscars fall. The industry knows certain subjects and approaches are a tough sell. Political awards shows come to mind. So do movies portraying the U.S. military in a harsh light.

The industry keeps ’em coming all the same.

Later this year, after a flotilla of anti-Iraq War movies bombed, we’ll see Keira Knightley playing an Iraq War whistleblower. Need another potential insta-dud? Sandra Bullock will portray failed, divisive political figure Wendy Davis in a new biopic, “Let Her Speak.”

Movies like 2016’s “Miss Sloane” lectured audiences on the glories of gun control. It proved a calamitous flop, something honest observers saw coming miles away.

What the Bad Oscar Ratings Really Mean

So there you have it. Today’s Hollywood is a bifurcated affair, driven by both money and messaging. In a perfect world the two would work together.

They don’t. So it’s on with the show all the same.

The industry is willing, and able, to swallow hard and accept losing money in order to send the approved messages.

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  1. I haven’t watched TV (deliberately, sometimes it can’t be avoided) in more than 10 years. It’s been longer since I watched a new release movie, and that was produced in Spain, not Hollywood. I don’t see that changing, and more importantly I don’t know anyone who watches new releases any more, or cares about these self serving, gag-worthy awards. Hollywood has destroyed itself.

    1. It’s been 6 years for me. A lifestyle change that becomes surprisingly easy once you give away the t.v. to a person or place where you can’t access it.

    2. Ditto. Haven’t watched a Hollywood release since the mid 90s. Never watch network TV. Read books.

  2. I’m concerned that this entire “industry” can’t die fast enough. They’re trying but they are also lingering.

    1. Agreed. A 16% drop isn’t bad considering the previous declines, but I’m disappointed in my fellow Americans that it wasn’t more like 50%.

      Maybe the demographics of the Nielsen homes is not representative.

    2. Goℴgle is offereing to people of every age 99 US dollars per-hour to complete few task online .. Do job for few hours and spend more time with your loved ones … Any one can also have this specific job!!this Friday I purchased a gorgeous Car just after making $6327 past six weeks .without any doubt it is nicest-work however you could no longer forgive yourself if you don’t have a peek at it.!cf962u: http://GoogleFreeBestFreelanceJobs/getpaid/$97/eachhour ♥u♥♥♥i♥♥n♥r♥♥♥b♥c♥♥♥r♥g♥♥♥d♥♥d♥♥♥z♥♥z♥♥♥x♥♥t♥i♥♥♥b♥♥z♥s♥♥q♥r♥♥♥w♥j♥♥♥l♥c♥x:::!sg41r:mdjvwq

  3. The word “Hollywood” has been a negative epithet out here in flyover country for decades. As in: “That’s so Hollywood” meaning that is so contrived and trite and not worth even looking at. These people have no idea the thin ice that they are skating on. Video production does not need Los Angeles and, with new technologies, making a video doesn’t need those people.

    1. Nah, then we have to feed them. Just through them over the border and let them make their movies in TJ and Juarez…

  4. Start building guillotines.

    They try to paint us as pre war Nazi Germany.

    No, you elitist, scum. We’re pre revolutionary France.

    Keep pushing, and we will put every smarmy, self righteous face in the dirt, with Kimmel’s head on a pike.

  5. “The industry is willing, and able, to swallow hard and accept losing money in order to send the approved messages.”

    …and I will stay away along with my hard earned $$$. Not another dime…

  6. To borrow a phrase from the great Theodore Sturgeon, they’ve sold their birthright for a pot of message.

    1. Gℴogle pays to new employee $98 per/hr to complete some work off a home computer … Labor only for only few hours & enjoy greater time together with your family . Any person can also join online jobs plan!!last Saturday I purchased a brand new Lotus Elise just after earning $9489 past five weeks .it’s certainly high-quality process however you will no longer forgive yourself if you don’t read it.!vg933o:➝➝➝ http://GoogleFarmLegitimateFreelanceEasyJobs/get/$97/per-hour ♥i♥♥b♥y♥o♥♥d♥♥♥n♥j♥♥w♥c♥i♥♥j♥♥♥o♥♥q♥♥♥v♥♥y♥♥v♥♥q♥♥t♥♥z♥♥g♥♥p♥♥♥r♥♥z♥♥b♥r::::!hh89r:czprmb

    2. Google pays now 97 US dollars/h to complete some jobs working off of a home computer .. Work only for just few hours & spend greater time together with your loved ones … You can catch this super post!on Tuesday I bought a new Subaru Impreza just after making $6876 past month .it’s certainly the best work however you will no longer forgive yourself if you don’t take a look at it.!nh192w:↭↭↭ http://GoogleSiteOnlineBusinessOpportunities/getcash/$97/hourly ♥i♥y♥♥n♥♥n♥i♥u♥♥h♥♥q♥♥e♥r♥l♥♥♥f♥♥♥x♥o♥♥j♥♥p♥♥q♥♥e♥♥t♥f♥♥p♥m♥♥♥l♥♥k♥♥♥q:::::!ag383l:efmpdSD

  7. Sandra Bullock portraying failed, divisive political figure Wendy Davis in a new biopic, “Make Her STFU,”… that I would pay money to see!

  8. Their purpose is to chase us from yet another public square. They have chased us from academia, from sports, and from Hollywood. Next they will chase us from country music. Eventually will come patriotic displays of all sorts, and finally, NASCAR.

  9. Overpaid, over-pampered “actors” patting themselves on the back for doing their job. Why don’t they just put this fiasco on pay-per-view and let the market decide?

  10. I have not watched the Oscars – nor cared about them- for a looonnnggg time. Not because of the lefty tilt- which is nothing new, although it sounds like it has gotten worse. But the idea of these fragile egos having dozens of awards shows for themselves lasting from January through March is offputting to normals. These people are so self important, have to dress up and preen for party after party to celebrate themselves, which somehow makes them think they are so very smart, and that we normals are clinging on every word they utter. In reality, most of these people are extremely dull intellectually. You listen to their pronouncements or see their twitter – it is child like non-understanding of the real world. Watching Robert de Niro being interviewed is painful – he cannot put thoughts together, unless someone is writing for him.

  11. What mystifies me is, who is subsidising all this propaganda? Is it our government? Is it the Chinese government?

    Also mystifying: what is Sandra Bullock thinking? I mean a war whistleblower, that’s still could be a noble part, even if the story is pure propaganda. But Wendy Davis? Her brand is the EXACT opposite of Bullock’s sweet and honest hometown girl. Did Bullock get desperate for any work at all? Is she in debt? Is the truly yucky Wendy Davis how Bullock sees herself and she wants the world to know what a lie her brand has been all these years? It’s baffling.

  12. “We hate you. Now please come see our movies about why our hate is justified.” Is not a very good advertising slogan.

  13. “The industry is willing, and able, to swallow hard and accept losing money in order to send the approved messages.”

    “Actually, [Humphrey] Bogart has less ham in him than almost any other movie star.
    Completely candid in his self-appraisal, he has an active grudge against performers who take themselves too seriously. People like Paul Muni, whom he suspects of nursing the conviction that their work must convey a message,” give him a pain. “If they have a message,” says Bogart, “they should call Western Union.” — 1944 June 12, LIFE, Close-Up: Humphrey Bogart by George Frazier, p. 55.)

    P.S. A similar quote is attributed to movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn in a 1943 article.

  14. At least the superhero movies are generally entertaining and give the audience something better than a Hallmark/Bravo/A&E snorefest. Moreover, intentional or not, the second and third Captain America films had conservative messages; fortunately, most of the cast probably didn’t get them.

  15. Why is this still televised? They are their own audience, let them play to their greatest fans (themselves) and leave the rest of us alone. I can’t imagine anything less relevant than the Oscars.

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