Al Sharpton Pleased With Oscar Viewership Decline: "This Ought to Send a Message"

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Al Sharpton

"Though clearly we don’t take full credit for the decline, certainly one would have to assume we were effective and part of the decline," said Sharpton.

Al Sharpton was happy to hear that Sunday's Oscar ratings hit a seven-year low.

On Monday, the reverend and political commentator took partial credit for the low figures after asking that people not watch the ceremony following the second year in a row where films by people of color were snubbed.

"This is a significant decline and should send a message to the Academy and to movie studio heads," he said in a statement. "Though clearly we don’t take full credit for the decline, certainly one would have to assume we were effective and part of the decline."

During a rally Sunday, not far from the Oscar site, Sharpton vowed, "This will be the last night of an all-white Oscars."

In addition to the Oscars controversy, dubbed on social media #OscarsSoWhite, a report released last week by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism gave failing grades to all six major studios for their lack of racial and gender diversity in front of and behind the cameras.

"This is not about actors and actresses getting awards, this is about inclusion and the respect of ticket buyers and viewers who are ordinary struggling American citizens who have been marginalized," Sharpton said Monday. "For those that live and work in Los Angeles in the movie industry and can’t get jobs because people from their community can’t get deals because there is no one there to greenlight their films and work, this ought to send a message to Hollywood that it is time for a change.”

Per Nielsen's overnight estimates, the nearly four-hour long ceremony on ABC averaged a 23.4 rating among households in 56 of the nation's biggest TV markets — a 6 percent decrease from 2015, making for a seven-year low in overnights.

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