As voting lines close on March 3, The Academy on Tuesday shared the current line-up films that are in contention for the controversial ‘Oscars Fan Favourite’ award, which will be announced during the ceremony on March 27.
In a tweet, The Academy revealed an alphabetical list of films that are gaining the highest number of votes. The list includes Army of the Dead, Cinderella, Dune, Malignant, Minamata, The Power of the Dog, Sing 2, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Suicide Squad and Tick, Tick… Boom! The largely criticised move was seen as a last-ditch attempt by the Academy to attract more viewers, in the wake of consistently declining ratings.
Also read: Oscars 2022: Academy announces ‘fan-favourite film’ honour, here’s how you can vote for it
While The Power of the Dog leads with the most nominations (12), the omission of No Way Home, in particular, was seen as a sign that the Academy’s members are against populist entertainment. Over the years, the Academy has introduced several measures to counter this narrative. Some, like the expansion of the Best Picture field, have been received warmly, while others, like a new category for Popular Film, was nixed after backlash.
Presenting your #OscarsFanFavorite leaderboard. Continue casting your vote by:
1. Tweeting your favorite film from 2021 with the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite
2. OR by voting on https://t.co/dadD2i7Cy0
Voting closes on Thursday, March 3rd. pic.twitter.com/dqAOqFEXSy
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 28, 2022
As can be seen from the list above, the Academy’s latest initiative is open to manipulation. Cinderella received overwhelmingly negative reviews, but can realistically win. Similarly, Zack Snyder’s extremely vocal fanbase has been hard at work trying to get Army of the Dead noticed, and are succeeding. Johnny Depp’s fans, who believe that he has been wronged privately and professionally after the allegations of domestic violence made against him, have been voting for Minamata.
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Many reactions to the Academy’s tweet pointed this out. “Upon further investigation, I’ve proposed a motion to declare Johnny Depp Stans a cult,” one person wrote. “Love how this is just a battle of several different types of stans and a few films thrown in,” another person wrote. Writer Mark Harris, who is married to Tony Kushner (the writer of West Side Story), lashed out at the announcement. “Here’s an idea: Announce the final results of this on Twitter, where this pandering dumb**s nonsense belongs, and use your broadcast to respect the artists your membership nominated,” he wrote.