Politics a lousy supporting act


Celebrities who win an Oscar next month should steer clear of politics during their acceptance speeches or risk alienating viewers.

That's the word from 7,000 moviegoers in a poll from online ticketer Fandango, which asked participants to name what they like most and least about Academy Awards telecasts.

Fandango noted the dwindling ratings of the telecast in recent years and that new producers have been hired for this year's extravaganza, so it is pitching the results of its survey as "20 ways to improve the Oscars."

At 51%, the No. 1 pet peeve is political speeches, the poll revealed.

Among elements of the show that audiences like, according to the poll, are a single host for the whole show (65%), the "in memoriam" tribute (57%) and the opening monologue (48%).

The producers and ABC might be pulling for "The Dark Knight," 2008's highest-grossing film, to get a best picture nom because 71% say they'd be more inclined to watch the show. (partialdiff)