The Academy has introduced a ‘Fan Favourite’ award for the 94th Oscar Awards. It won’t be the usual Academy voters though, who decide who earns the new gong it will be, as the name implies, from this Monday the fans.
According to The Hollywood Reporter from Monday, the great and good of Twitter will be able to use the hashtag ‘#OscarsFanFavorite’ to nominate their favourite film for the new award. The movie that receives the most nominations by March 3 will then receive an award at the ceremony on March 27. The new category opens the door to films like the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and James Bond receiving some recognition.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Twitter to help build an engaged and excited digital audience leading up to this year’s ceremony,” The vice president for digital marketing at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Meryl Johnson, told THR. “Through these activations, social media users around the world now have more opportunities to engage with the show in real-time, find a community and be a part of the experience in ways they’ve never been able to before.”
The decision has inevitably split fans of Hollywood’s most respected awards ceremony (Editor: They exist?). Some believe the award will give the ceremony more relevance and encourage people other than masochistic cinephiles to watch the Oscars.
Others have suggested it may cheapen the Academy Awards and opens the door for big studios to effectively ‘buy’ a nomination. Although it’s worth noting that the Fan Favourite award will reportedly not be an official category – we’re not quite sure what that means.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 14, 2022
The idea is similar to the Most Popular Film category that The Academy considered in 2019. That, too, was an attempt to engage with a more mainstream audience and boost flagging Oscars ratings. In the end, The Academy did not push ahead with the new category, though, following pushback from members and online commentators.