One producer of the Oscars, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, admitted to the New York Times that “vast swaths” of people turn off the show when stars start talking about politics.
A minute-by-minute post-show ratings analysis showed that “vast swaths” of people simply turned off their TVs once politics came up, the unnamed producer told the NYT in a piece published Sunday.
Despite this data showing a decline in the ratings for the Oscars when stars did that, producers of the 93rd Academy Awards show said they are planning to give winners more time this year for acceptance speeches, according to a Reuters piece titled, “Oscars show reinvented as a movie — with masks, longer speeches.”
“It’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before,” director Steven Soderbergh, who is producing the show with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, shared in a news conference.
Soderbergh said the Oscars this year is being shot more like a movie, with presenters like Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry “playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves.”
“We want the show to have a voice,” he added.
Instead of limiting winners to 45 seconds, the Hollywood director said they will be “giving them space.”
“We’ve encouraged them to tell a story, and to say something personal,” the director explained.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s ceremony will take place on April 25 at multiple locations, including the Art Deco Union Station in downtown Los Angeles where a stage is being built. The second location will be the usual home of the Oscars, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the NYT reported.
There will also be one of 20 different satellite spots around the world, allowing every nominee a chance to be in front of the camera, the largest one being in London, the outlet noted.
And as far as masks, Soderbergh, promised masks will “play a very important role in the story. That topic is very central to the narrative.”