Exeter, Devon UK • May 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home LifestyleCulture Are Award Shows Still Relevant?

Are Award Shows Still Relevant?

Eloise Grainger discusses whether award shows have lost their value and importance in the eyes of today's younger generation.
4 mins read
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Image: Mirko Fabian via Unsplash

February saw a flurry of award ceremonies take place, mainly in the US state of California. The People’s Choice Awards were held on 19th February to congratulate the entertainment world and icons from it. This was soon followed by the SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild Awards) on 25th February, which values the hard work of those who performed outstandingly in films and prime-time television. Award ceremonies are still centre stage of the movie industry, with its main objective to celebrate and reflect on the talent of the past year. The contributions of talented people and teams are given the praise and recognition that they deserve.  

The red carpets also act as fashion runways for the most jaw-dropping, iconic, and unique clothing to be put on display by the public’s favourite people. But it isn’t all about glitz and glamour either, as often award shows can be prime spots for the media to create hype. This was most certainly the case at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022, where actor Will Smith strode purposefully onto the stage, and slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face after Rock made a joke regarding Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. His comment was about her shaved head, to which the Smiths’ didn’t find amusing. The resulting slap, however, amused millions online, and quickly became a trending meme that stuck around for months. Often nowadays, the spotlight is no longer directed at the awards themselves, but rather what happens between guests. This was definitely true at the SAG Awards last month, where a Modern Family reunion caused the internet world to stir; the cast gathered to present the ‘Ensemble in a Comedy Series’ category to the cast of FX’s The Bear, but it was Ty Burrell’s presence that made fans thrilled, as he had previously missed a reunion with the rest of the cast, which led the public to believe he passed away! 

But it isn’t all about glitz and glamour either, as often award shows can be prime spots for the media to create hype.

Shockingly, only 10% of Generation Z stated that they would watch the entirety of an award show, such as the Oscars, indicating a severe lack of interest in these events. It seems the only way to grab the younger demographic’s attention is through key snippets the media captures, such as with the Chris Rock slap.  

With this year’s Oscars in early March, much of the attention will be focussed on the likes of Barbie and Oppenheimer, as these two films caused millions of people to divert their fixation from streaming services and head to cinemas to experience the sensation of Greta Gerwig’s filmmaking and the captivating world of Christopher Nolan’s artistry. After Oppenheimer took home three trophies at the SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Cillian Murphy), Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Downey Jr), and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, it is leading to strong predictions that the Oppenheimer clan will fare just as well at the Oscars. For 10th March, Oppenheimer has been nominated an astounding thirteen times! There has also been commotion in the build-up to the Oscars surrounding Barbie, however, as Ryan Gosling has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Ken, yet Margot Robbie, who played Barbie, and Greta Gerwig, the director, have not been mentioned in their respective categories, which undermines the feminist and female empowerment messages of the film.  

It seems award ceremonies are in desperate need to catch up with how younger demographics view the world, both in terms of their values, but also in how they engage and watch the events themselves.  

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