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The Oscars May Go Down Fighting

Bill Kramer and Janet Yang
Academy C.E.O. Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang. Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
September 18, 2022

Polling longtime film Academy members about the state of their organization has become a depressing endeavor. Many of the 10,669 actors, executives, producers and other movie professionals seem to be in a state of perpetual facepalm, and everyone knows why: The Oscars, once the Super Bowl of culture, is now better likened to, say, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. 

A lot of that is endemic, of course. The fragmentation of audiences, the end of the monoculture, etc etc. But so much is self-inflicted: the refusal to evolve the show; the Academy’s singular focus on progressive politics to the exclusion of almost everything else; the leadership vacuum that led to the inept handling of the Will Smith debacle. We don’t need to rehash it all here.