Oscar’s controversies raise question of award show’s legitimacy 

Many question whether Academy can be trusted to select best of the best


Academy Award Website

The 95th Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 12. Several controversies around this year’s nominees continue to haunt the awards

For senior Karis Laplante, watching the Oscars is not about believing in the credibility of the academy, but to see her favorite celebrities wear the newest designs, display their Hollywood relationships, and hopefully, win big. 

I think it’s weird to give awards for artistic expression, but I will watch [The Oscars] anyway because I like the outfits.

— Nina Lynn

“For me, I don’t really care about who wins unless I really like a person nominated, and in that case, I just root for them,” she said. 

The Oscars, which will be aired on ABC on Sunday, March 12 at 7pm, have a history of controversial picks, and this year is no different.

This year, white actress Andrea Riseborough was nominated for best actress, only after a social media push from her inner circle. Many critics of her film, “To Leslie,” agree that her performance did not deserve a nomination, especially over actress Danielle Detweiler, who starred in “Till”, a film delving into the story of Emmett Till. 

Many say this is just another example of a white actor gaining a nomination spot over an actor of color who was equally if not more qualified. 

This specific controversy brings to light an ongoing issue with the Oscars since its origin in 1927. The lack of representation of people of color and other minorities has been a popular bit for award show hosts to jab at, especially in recent years. 

This is not the only controversial nomination this year, however.  There has also been controversy surrounding this year’s nominations for the best picture which include films such as “Top Gun Maverick,” “Elvis,” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” With some popular box office picks on display, not everyone agrees with the quality of these choices. 

Senior Blake Beeler didn’t agree with “Avatar’s” nomination.

“I think it’s insane to nominate Avatar: The Way of Water for best picture. I don’t think it screams ‘real quality movie’ to me.”

While complaints spiked about films included on the best picture list, complaints also came up about movies that didn’t make the cut. 

“I am hurt that Babylon did not get nominated for the categories I hoped it would, such as best picture,” said Beeler.

Beeler is not alone in this sentiment. Many confused and angry award show watchers turned to social media to formalize their complaints on this year’s nominees, with one TikTok  user stating, “so many great actors were snubbed out of a nomination, women like Viola Davis and Danielle Detweiler who should have been shoe-ins, weren’t even given nominations. 

For one night to be filled with so much controversy brings into question whether or not the Oscars still hold the same status and respectability as they did at their origin almost a century ago. 

Theater teacher Nina Lynn doesn’t see the need acting awards but still watches the show each year.

“I think it’s weird to give awards for artistic expression, but I will watch [The Oscars] anyway because I like the outfits.” 

It appears that the judgment of the academy no longer stands as a reliable one, with many fans questioning the racially skewed motivations, bribery, and popularity contests that the award can no longer hide.

Watching the award show for its pretty dresses and jaw-dropping pop culture moments may be enough to satisfy an audience for a little while longer.