April 29, 2021

Oscars: Low Ratings, Tributes and Mistaken Identities

Say what you will about the Academy Awards, but this year was anything but uneventful.

The ceremony saw its 93rd incarnation as a virtual viewing party live-streamed from both Union Station and the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. It took place on Sunday, 25 April – two months later than expected due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The awards show saw its worst viewership in recent years: it barely drew 10 million viewers, the lowest in Oscars broadcasting history.

However the bad luck didn’t end there, the show had no host, barely any clips of nominated films and no musical performances.

To make things weird, during a press conference Margaret Gardiner asked Daniel Kaluuya – who won “Best-Supporting Actor” for “Judas and the Black Messiah” – what it was like being directed by Regina King.

The question caught flack on social media as the film Kaluuya was in was directed by Shaka King, and not Regina. Regina King directed Leslie Odom Jr. in the film “One Night in Miami”, and so social media has assumed that Gardiner mixed up Kaluuya and Odom Jr.

Another head-scratching moment unfolded when Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor award over Chadwick Boseman – the latter was largely expected to snatch the golden statue posthumously for his incredible performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

However, Hopkins – who wasn’t at the awards in person – posted a short Instagram clip of his acceptance speech, and also paid tribute to fellow nominee Boseman, the following day.