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Who Controls the Oscars?

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The Anonymous Academy

Ellie Coppock, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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The nominations for the 2019 Oscars were released earlier this year. They include:

  • Best Picture:
    • Black Panther
    • BlacKKKlansman
    • Bohemian Rhapsody
    • The Favourite
    • Green Book
    • Roma
    • A Star is Born
    • Vice
  • Actor in a Leading Role:
    • Christian Bale (Vice)
    • Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
    • Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
    • Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
    • Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
  • Actress in a Leading Role
    • Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
    • Glenn Close (The Wife)
    • Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
    • Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
    • Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  • For the completed list visit Oscars.org

A major question that many people have about the nominations is, who decides the nominations? The answer is simple: The Academy.  But who is in The Academy? The Academy is made up of esteemed film artists that are experts in many different fields. Members have to be sponsored by existing members and confirmed by higher members of the group and the Academy’s Board of Governors. People that are nominated for Academy awards do not need to be sponsored and can automatically be considered for membership (Oscars.org). There are more than 7,000 members of The Academy, according to Business Insider.

These members vote for the winner and the one with the most Academy votes wins in every category except Best Picture. For Best Picture, The Academy votes for their top 3 movies. This avoids ties and a low percentage for the majority winner, such as a 25% majority. This is also controversial because some say that it’s a race of the least disliked movie rather than the best movie. Because of this system, a movie that many people vote as their second or third choice could win the overall prize (Los Angeles Times).

This voting technique opens the doors for movies to campaign for nominations. While advocating for movies to get nominated is okay, campaigns that discourage nominations of other movies are not allowed. Because of this, “smear campaigns” are used to make the general public and The Academy see the movie in a negative light. Which Best Picture Nominees might have smear campaigns against them this year? Some say Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody. There are rumors of Green Book’s director Peter Farrelly being inappropriate on the set of the film. Bohemian Rhapsody’s original director, Bryan Singer, was removed from the film after filming most of the movie after sexual misconduct allegations against him. It is still unclear how much Singer is gaining from the film (The Daily Beast).

The Oscars airs on Sunday, February 24. The event will have no host for the first time in 30 years after their first choice, Kevin Hart, was removed because of homophobic comments (BBC News).

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About the Writer
Ellie Coppock, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Ellie Coppock is a junior in her third year of journalism. She enjoys running and is on the cross country and track teams. You can find her exploring thrift...

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