OPINION: Academy Awards fail to reach teenage viewers


Merlito Pabatao (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Students liked “The Lion King,” but it wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar.

By Jess Coia, Apprentice Editor

With the award season in full effect, the movies of the past year are being recognized for their outstanding achievements, but the wrong movies are being praised. The nine movies up for an Academy Award in 2020 are ones that few people have seen, and an even smaller amount of people have enjoyed. People want to see the movies that they loved be recognized by earning an Oscar, yet the nominations are far from what people find to be the best motion picture of the year. 

Movies such as “Ford V Ferrari” and “Jojo Rabbit” are two movies up for Best Motion Picture this year which have shown little popularity, especially with younger people. Of over 50 West Essex students polled, only two percent saw “Ford V Ferrari” and not a single student saw “Jojo Rabbit.” These movies are nominated for being the best film of the year, but only a small number of people in the prime market have seen them. 

Movie studios need to work with the Academy to promote movies that will most likely be nominated so that a larger group of fans will watch the awards ceremony.

Not only have people not seen the films up for awards, but fan-favorite films from the past year have not even been nominated. “The Lion King” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” are films that the several of the students surveyed have named as their favorite movie of the year, yet these films are nowhere to be found on the list of Oscar nominated movies. 

This trend isn’t limited to just the Oscars: Award shows in general fall short and fail to capture the attention of younger generations because they fail to recognize the films our demographic actually enjoyed. If shows like the Oscars continue to dedicate half of their nominations to movies that were seen by only a handful of people under the age of 60, the popularity of these award shows will die out within the next few generations. 

The Academy Awards are decreasing in popularity, and it is clear why. People do not want to see actors they have never heard be praised for the films they have never seen. The Oscars are falling out of touch. The only way to fix it is to turn the focus to the films that the younger generation of Americans actually care about.