Opinion: Is it Time to Abolish Award Shows?

James Logie

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/golden-statuette-and-stars-on-yellow-back

Thankfully, I missed the whole thing.

When I saw the reaction online to Will Smith becoming completely unhinged, I still didn’t turn over.

Did I miss a big moment? Not really, as it was instantly shared around social media. This saved me having to sit through a four-hour show to see something eventful.

You couldn’t pay me to watch the Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammys — or any other award show. They have overstayed their welcome, and there are also so damn many of them. 

The days of old Hollywood are long gone, and the award shows we see today seem to be the last remnants of a bygone era.

It also seems asinine that we still continue to glorify a small group of individuals who are so out of touch with the rest of the world. 

Award shows are dying, and the ratings reveal it. Maybe it's time to pull the plug on this outdated institution. 

Awards Are All Subjective

Right off the bat, this is the biggest issue. Any awards given at an award show are completely subjective. The decisions are being made by a small group of people who may have varying interests in what does and doesn’t win.

Are they trying to send a message to the idiot public by ensuring a certain movie wins? Are they sticking it to a specific actor or actress for some personal reason when they don’t vote for them? Who says their choice is the best one?

Are studios paying to influence the awards? I’m sure some of that has been going on, too. 

It’s such a small group of people making these extremely subjective decisions compared to the large number of the public that votes with its wallets.

This year, I saw all the best picture nominees. I thought that Belfast and Nightmare Alley were the best. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s just my opinion. And what I think shouldn't diminish from how another person feels. 

Whether it’s members of the Academy or a moron like me, the things we think are best come from our own viewpoints, insights, and experiences. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of taste. 

What About More Recognition for the Hardworking, Non-Famous People?

The technical merits of movies, TV, and Music, are the ones that deserve just as much recognition. These are the hardworking people behind the scenes that don’t get any of the glory. 

The problem is, this will never draw an audience. Even the Oscars are limiting what gets presented on-air — and it tends not to be the lesser-known awards. 

Example: a film sound editor may work as hard as anyone on the film but will not get the same recognition and time on-air, so we can instead see what Zendaya is wearing.

Viewers are obviously drawn to the stars, but the people who most deserve the spotlight during awards shows are not the ones who get it. 

How Can Art be in Competition With Itself?

To me, this is probably the main reason why any form of award seems absurd. Whether it’s music, TV, movies, sculpting, or painting, it’s all art. And how can art be in competition with itself?

Art exists for our enjoyment and to challenge and inspire us. It doesn’t exist to detract from other art. Art shouldn’t be created with the goal of winning an award. It doesn’t exist to be more superior to other entries. 

Artists create because they want to share what’s inside them with the rest of the world. When the success of art is defined by getting a shiny statue in a room full of millionaires, it reduces art to the level of sport. 

Everyone wants to be appreciated and recognized, but art has now become a competition — which is the complete opposite of why it exists. 

The Elite Continue to Pat Themselves on the Back

I think this is the most confounding aspect when it comes to award shows. It’s a group of out-of-touch people who live a life that is the furthest thing from normal.

Millionaire celebrities can try to act like “normal people,” but they are anything but that. They live an existence that none of us can relate to. Award shows continue to exist to honor the same out-of-touch people repeatedly.

These awards seem to reassure this small group of people of the value they have. We then have to sit through their self-aggrandizing speeches, where they get the chance to show off their political and social superiority. 

We happily sit back and bask in their greatness like the peasants we are. Let’s take them off their pedestals and get them back down to earth, where they belong. 

Final Thoughts

I’ve heard people say how livid they would be if a certain movie isn’t nominated for best picture or a specific actor or actress doesn’t take home the top prize.

I never understood this. A nomination or win shouldn’t do anything to take away from your original enjoyment of their work. Is your favorite performer diminished in your eyes because they didn’t win a little trophy?

Back to the Future is my favorite movie of all time. The fact it wasn’t nominated for best picture or that Michael J. Fox didn't get recognized as best actor does nothing to change my feelings for it. 

Hollywood has always been disconnected from real life, but this seems more clear than ever.

If they want to continue to pat each other on the back to enhance their own glorification, I say go for it — but you can leave the rest of us out of it. 

Award shows seem to be dying, and I think it’s a step in the right direction. 

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Personal trainer, podcaster, Amazon best-selling author. Writing about some health, a little marketing, and a whole lot of 1980s.

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