After all the controversy in recent years regarding the lack of diversity and choice of presenters (or lack thereof) for movie awards ceremonies, in addition to the gradual rise of original movies produced by up-and-coming and existing streaming giants, the question on many people’s lips is, ‘Are movie awards ceremonies now outdated and obsolete?’

Popular magazines and numerous gossip and fashion-focused websites still focus heavily on the glitz and glam of such affairs, frequently curating lists of the best and worst dressed, reporting on any ‘wow’ moments, and denigrating stars for any mishaps, controversial statements, or accidents that occur. In one sense, you could argue that this focus – and the fact that so many people lap up and devour each and every word that the gossip columns spill out about the events – as a sign that they aren’t quite done with yet, even if interest is waning amongst younger generations.

But, as the younger generations age and begin to form the bulk of consumerist society, unabashedly proliferating ‘woke’ ideals that are based around race, gender, disability, sexuality, class, and climate change, will fascination with movie awards ceremonies continue to dip, until they are no longer relevant?    

Controversy Abounds
One thing that has consistently affected movie awards ceremonies over recent years is the sheer lack of diversity, with the vast majority of the major categories at all the big awards ceremonies – the Oscars, the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes, and the BAFTAs – featuring mostly white nominees and, in non-gender specific categories such as Best Director, an overwhelming number of middle-aged men.

Part of this can be attributed to the voting committees for said awards ceremonies, which consist predominantly of white, middle-class, middle-aged men, and it is argued that this has led to a disparity between the awards themselves and the opinions of the viewing public.

More controversy has been piled on relating to the choices of hosts, such as Kevin Hart, who was forced to drop out of his Oscars presenting duties when old tweets resurfaced that were decidedly homophobic and offensive. Add to that the sense of disconnect that has been placed on such ceremonies when considering the out-and-out lavishness of movie awards ceremonies, which cost an extortionate amount, when many across the US (and, indeed, the world) are suffering in abject poverty, and it’s easy to see why the younger generations are becoming increasingly disillusioned with them.

The Rise of Streaming
Streaming giants Netflix and Amazon have been in the game for a fair few years now, producing their own high-quality movies and receiving an abundance of praise for their efforts – Netflix even partnered with the legendary Martin Scorsese to create the epic film, The Irishman, in 2019 – and smaller, up-and-coming streaming services are beginning to join the fray.

However, it’s only in the past couple of years that such films are being officially recognized at awards ceremonies, once again demonstrating how they are behind-the-times when it comes to matching the wants of audiences.

At Odds    
While awards ceremonies are intended as a light-hearted celebration of the various achievements and performances with the world of movies, the dichotomy between the voting system and the actual viewing audience – in terms of age, race, class, sexuality, and gender – means that there are numerous films each year that are loved by audiences but ignored by awards ceremonies.

It’s argued that the voting committees tend to favor more ‘high-brow’ films that are dark and complex (and, as some would say, plain boring), while ignoring blockbuster hits that audiences have not only been to see in their droves, but that they have thoroughly enjoyed, too. Until such committees start to take into account the opinions of the layman viewer, how can it be expected that audiences are going to want to tune in?

Whatever your opinion regarding this question is, it’s clear to see that, for movie awards ceremonies to remain relevant, they’re going to need to update themselves – and they need to do this soon, before they’re rendered completely outdated and pointless.