The dust is slowly settling after this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the first one to give way to a bit of self-reflection this year, as Hollywood continues to deal with its public problems of sexual harassment, gender parity and diversity. Kimmel anchored the nearly 4-hour telecast with a few light jokes about the serious subject matter, only occasionally mentioning the ongoing #MeToo movement and disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
Aside from the mention of hashtag current events like #MeToo and #TimesUp, and the usual ogling of expensive red carpet fashion, all of the pageantry of the awards seemed to fall flat with the general public this year and a week later, the whole ordeal seems all but forgotten. This begs the question, once again, of whether the Oscars are dwindling in relevance.
For one thing, viewership of the annual broadcast has seen a steady decline over the years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This year’s telecast on ABC drew a paltry 26.5 million viewers — down 19 percent from last year’s show, and over 17 million viewers down from 2014, THR reports. That makes 2018’s show the least watched Academy Awards telecast in its history. In a telling comparison, Variety reports that 103.4 million Americans watched the Super Bowl this year.