Award shows must standardize category nominations


Photo courtesy of TNS

Casey Affleck arrives at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

With the 90th Academy Awards approaching quickly, award season is coming to a close and leaving a rather bad taste in the mouths of viewers.

Many viewers discredited largely popular celebrities and showed their distaste by not attending shows such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards or the Golden Globes. Others took to social media to complain about the “snubs” and the unfair selection process.

But while the public has recently held award shows to a lower standard, there is room for improvement by learning from the mistakes of past shows.

The Grammys took place on Sunday and did nothing more but raise the outrage and frustration of viewers.

Pitchfork writer Katherine St. Asaph spoke on the various issues with the Grammys, detailing the lack of effort shown by the organizers to provide an inclusive show that held a sense of genuineness.

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According to Asaph’s article, only 17 percent of the Grammy winners were women, and various female artists who were nominated for bigger categories were reportedly denied solo performances.

And most trivializing of them all, Ed Sheeran received the award for Best Pop Vocal Album over four other female artists who arguably deserved the award more.

Overall, one could say the Grammys have been more about popularity than appreciating the music.

But one of the more underlooked qualities the Grammys should be praised for is the concept of combined categories, appreciating both men and women in the same practice.

Award shows dedicated to cinema can move toward this format to provide a more equal experience for both viewers and nominees alike. More specifically, the Oscars should combine acting awards for both men and women.

When comparing the winners of both Best Actor and Best Actress at the Academy Awards, it’s difficult to see what the glaring differences are besides the scopes of their individual roles.

In 2016, Casey Affleck  received the award Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea,” while Emma Stone received the awardBest Actress for “La La Land.”

Not only did Affleck win the award amidst sexual assault allegations, but many can agree that the other female nominees played roles with greater value than Affleck’s.

The biggest argument against this potential transition is that movies are simply not written for equal roles. While this is true, the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress can be kept the same. But having two different categories for “supporting” actor/actress doesn’t make sense.

Going back to past years, female nominees have time and time again been held to a higher standard than male nominees. The same phenomena can be observed vice versa.

While the move will likely not happen, it would be refreshing to see an era where the value of watching award shows has decreased monumentally.

Saketh is a sophomore in LAS.

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