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Editorial: Award shows have lost their appeal

Over the last few years, award shows have slowly been losing their hold on society. These awards, like the Emmys, VMAs and Golden Globes, are still important for those being nominated. However, for viewers, the awards have little importance.

These award shows have become popularity contests, fashion shows and a platform for political discussions. These actors and artists show up to the red carpet hoping to make a statement of some sort with their outfits.

We saw Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Met Gala wearing a dress saying “tax the rich” in 2021. At the 2018 Golden Globes, many women wore all black to show their solidarity and support for the #MeToo movement while other people sported the “time’s up” slogan to show their support. In 2019, Joy Villa wore a MAGA gown to the Grammy Awards with “build the wall” written across the skirt and a purse that said “make America great again.”

These award ceremonies have become major platforms for actors and artists to make a statement about any topic they would like without any restraint. For viewers, these award shows are a break from regular, chaotic life. People want to be lost in the fashion, awards, performances and acceptance speeches. Seeing things that remind them of their stressful lives may drive them away. 

Besides the political aspect that sneaks in on the red carpet, these award shows have lost their importance in people’s lives. 

According to Nielsen, a company that tracks how many viewers watch certain shows, only 9.85 million viewers watched the 2021 Oscars ceremony and 16.6 million viewers in 2022. However, these numbers are nowhere near the Oscars record of 55.3 million viewers in 1998.

Many people under the age of 30 no longer use cable and aren’t watching these award shows because they aren’t available on streaming platforms. These award shows are missing a major part of their target audience. 

These ceremonies used to hold importance to us and would give us new movies, songs and artists to enjoy. However, these shows never change. They have new hosts who make bland jokes, the same actors and artists winning and the same long winded speeches about how they couldn’t have done it without their team and fans. 

All of this is sweet and great for the winners, but as viewers, it does nothing but put us to sleep. 

Even outside forces are working against these award shows. In 2005, there were 564 different award shows according to ABC news. The award pool has become so cluttered with different awards for actors and artists to win that they have lost their novelty.

The appeal of award shows is there, viewers still want to see what the next big thing will be. However, without making any changes, the award shows could continue to lose more viewers.