Oscars 2021 records all-time low ratings, viewership for three-hour 'wokefest' drops below 10 million
According to Nielsen numbers, the television ratings for the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night had suffered a 58 percent drop compared to last year's already record-low 23.64 million viewers
The Oscars hit an all-time low viewership after just 9.85 million people tuned in to watch what was described as a three-hour-long "wokefest." According to Nielsen numbers, the television ratings for the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night had suffered a 58 percent drop compared to last year's already record-low 23.64 million viewers.
The ratings took a plunge on Hollywood's biggest night and continued a multi-year downward trend for the Academy Awards, which boasted a viewership of at least 43 million as recently as 2014. This comes as the Grammys, Golden Globes, as well as the SAG Awards saw more than 50 percent declines in viewership this year, the Daily Mail reported.
The latest figures available on Nielsen show that CBS' NCIS would have attracted more viewers than the Oscars, with the former attracting 10.2 million viewers based on data the week ending April 5. Fans have reportedly labeled this year's ceremony as the "wokest ever" after a series of politically charged speeches and the backlash Anthony Hopkins received for winning the best actor award over Chadwick Boseman, according to the newspaper.
The night was hosted by Regina King, who kicked off the event by celebrating the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. The awards show also saw director Travon Free flaunt a jacket emblazoned with the names of Black people killed by police, while Mia Neal noted how she had broken the "glass ceiling" for trans and minority ethnic groups by winning best hair and makeup.
"It has been quite a year, and we are still smack dab in the middle of it. We are mourning the loss of so many," award host King began, setting the tone for the evening. "And I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots."
"Now, I know that a lot of you people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you," she added. "But as a mother of a black son, I know the fear that so many live with, and no amount of fame or fortune changes. That okay?"
Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson spoke about breaking barriers as they accepted the award for Oscar for Best Hair and Makeup, becoming the first two black women to win the same.
"I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in. Who were denied but never gave up. And I also stand here, as we break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future," Neal said. "Because I can picture black trans women standing up here, Asian and Latina sisters, and indigenous women. And it won't be unusual or groundbreaking one day, it will just be normal," she added.
Meanwhile, Director Travon Free's Oscars acceptance speech saw him condemn the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. Free, 35, won Best Live Action Short along with co-director Martin Desmond Roe for their drama 'Two Distant Strangers', a short film about black Americans who died during encounters with police.
"Today, the police will kill three people," Free said as he accepted his award. "Tomorrow, the police will kill three people. And the day after that, the police will kill three people. Because on average, the police in America every day kill three people. Which amounts to about 1,000 people a year."
"Those people happen to be disproportionately black people. I just ask that you please not be indifferent. Please don't be indifferent to our pain," he added.
Free also made a political statement on the red carpet, when he showed off the inside of his jacket which was emblazoned with the names of Black people killed by police, including Rayshard Brooks, Tamir Rice, and Daunte Wright.