The Oscars Don’t Matter to a Lot of Americans According to a New Poll

A new poll confirms that few people are paying attention to the awards show.


As the Oscars creep up, there are less and less reasons to be excited about the 91st installment of the Academy Awards. For one, the show will not have a host for the second time in history, after the saga of once-MC Kevin Hart, whose homophobic jokes came back to haunt him on social media, which he has had a hard time adequately apologizing for. There’s also the fact that reports have surfaced about the Academy allegedly intimidating smaller awards shows and trying to prevent A-list actors and actresses from presenting at them. The latest nail in the coffin? Most people don’t actually care about the Oscars, according to a new poll.

The polling has now confirmed, with a two percent margin of error, that not many people are paying attention to the results of the show. For instance, just 20 percent of people polled by The Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult knew which film won Best Picture last year (The Shape of Water) and 58 percent didn’t even try to guess from multiple choice.

Even the year before, when the Best Picture announcement was historically inaccurate, only 12 percent remembered that the winner was Moonlight. Twenty percent thought it was La La Land and 53 percent didn’t guess. When asked about specific actors’ and actresses’ wins, people were just as indifferent and clueless. Ryan Gosling, for example who has never won an academy award despite being nominated twice, was estimated to have won by 32 percent of people, while 50 percent didn’t try to guess. Likewise, Amy Adams, who has five nominations to date but no wins, was estimated to have won an Oscar by 24 percent of people as 59 percent didn’t care enough to guess.

There are some explanations for this. Not only are the Oscars out of touch in that the show has been criticized for its inability to accurately reflect the diverse world we live in #OscarsSoWhite, the viewership has also been plummeting for the past five years. But the poll suggests another answer, as well: More people just care about TV than film. According to the poll, 52 percent watch/stream TV every day while 18 percent watch/stream movies every day. Then there’s the fact that 35 percent consider themselves to be an “avid fan” of film, while the same classification for TV counts 48 percent. With the upcoming 2019 Oscars, it will be interesting to see whether or not that changes. That is, if enough people even watch to properly assess.

Related: Are the Oscars Bullying Smaller Awards Shows?