It’s no secret that Hollywood awards shows have plummeted in ratings and viewership in recent years. This dramatic reduction in popularity coincides with the tendency of hosts, presenters and guests to engage in political commentary, usually directed at conservative viewers. Ratings have fallen by millions in just a few short years — and the more overtly woke a host is, the lower the ratings fall. Trump-hating host Jimmy Kimmel saw the greatest decline in viewers, losing over 10 million from the previous year after his 2018 hosting gig was complete.
So now, the Oscars is hoping to avoid controversy and win back its shrinking audience by going host-less. Is This actually going to solve the problem? Let’s take a look.
Nobody Wants the Job
It’s gotten so bad that Hollywood can’t find a host willing to take on the Oscars – once one of the most in-demand and coveted jobs a star could land. After abysmal ratings, this year’s Oscars won’t have a host at all – the program has also been moved forward to a less competitive time of year in hopes of propping up sagging numbers.
The problem seems to be that no one wants the job – with ratings on the rapid decline, being associated with the production could be a career killer. According to Variety, the head of ABC Entertainment, Karey Burke, announced that the Oscars would have no host this year at all.
The decision is not a surprise. Last year, planned host Kevin Hart abruptly resigned, leaving the show without a host. Hart resigned over a furor over his past tweets and social media statements. Instead of a host, the program featured woke political commentary – clips from director Spike Lee that demanded the viewing audience “mobilize against Trump”, presenters speaking about border walls and gender discrimination and more.
A Ratings Disaster
Traditionally hosted by a comedian, the Oscars have been largely abandoned, as no one seems to touch this ratings disaster. In addition to the poor performance, hosts have been criticized for days following past programs, on social media and by journalists. Some are lambasted for not being woke enough or for their comedy choices, while others pander to the Hollywood crowd and receive scathing comments from viewers at home.
The ratings dive began in 2015 and has continued; the drop coincides with increasingly progressive politics, attacks against President Donald Trump and complaints about the attitudes and beliefs of the show’s core audience at home.
Rapidly Declining Viewership Continues
In 2014, the Oscars had 43.7 million viewers; in 2018, just a few years later, that number had dropped to 26.5 million. Host Jimmy Kimmel was extremely and overtly anti-President Trump and continually mocked his appearance, policies, family and followers. This year also saw the greatest decline in viewers so far – and even the president noticed.
There won’t be a host this year, but the damage may have already been done. The show has lost over 16 million viewers in just two years — further losses could bump it from prime time entirely.