Academy shelves its plans for ‘popular’ Oscar category

Tightrope of fairness

After the initial confusion, questions continued to arise that the Academy found hard to answer. Was it fair for ABC, the network that broadcasts the Oscars, to lobby hard for such an award when its parent company (Disney) makes the sort of blockbusters that would probably crowd the category: Marvel movies, Star Wars movies and Pixar films?Might a popularity prize backfire by ghettoising the big films that would otherwise contend for best picture?
The irony is that this year’s telecast may not have needed such a prize in the first place. Black Panther , the highest-grossing film so far, is almost certain to be nominated in several categories including best picture — and it may even win Marvel Studios its first Oscar in a category like best costume design, where Ruth E. Carter’s stunning outfits tower over the rest of the field.
If ABC executives had sought to find room in the telecast for superhero movies, they needn’t have worried, and the removal of a popularity prize will only strengthen the case for Black Panther.
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