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Seth Rogen is questioning why the industry cares so much about the Oscars’ waning viewership.
While speaking to Insider about his Lay’s potato chips Super Bowl ad that also stars Paul Rudd, the Pam & Tommy actor was asked about Hollywood’s biggest night, and in his answer, questioned why there’s so much focus on people paying attention to “awards we give ourselves.”
“I don’t get why movie people care so much if other people care what awards we give ourselves,” he said. “To me, maybe people just don’t care. I don’t care who wins the automobile awards. No other industry expects everyone to care about what awards they shower upon themselves.”
While the exact question Rogen was posed isn’t clear, it comes a few days after the 2022 Oscar nominations and amid years of efforts by the Academy to add or remove elements of the ceremony to make it more appealing to a continuously declining viewership.
That includes not having a host — something the Oscars will have this year — as well as trying to shorten the notoriously lengthy show down to three hours by presenting some categories live during commercial breaks. At one point a “popular film” category was proposed, but ultimately the Academy did not move forward with it.
The 2021 telecast saw the Oscars’ smallest viewership in its history, a drop that was in line with a larger trend across the other major award shows — the Emmys, Globes and Grammys — due to the pandemic.
In terms of that declining viewership, Rogen noted that “Maybe people just don’t care. Maybe they did for a while and they stopped caring. And why should they?”
The first Oscars telecast aired in 1953, more than 20 years after the first ceremony, and has since become a way to not only publicly celebrate and award the year’s releases and those who worked on them, but a source of revenue and industry marketing. Higher viewership can mean increased ad rates and revenue, and more eyes on new trailers debuting during the telecast. For some films that are still in theaters around their nomination, the telecast can also provide a notable box office bump.
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