New changes announced for upcoming Oscars ceremonies

Oscars Now streamlined and more populist than before

Oscars Now streamlined and more populist than before

Rob Lowe has slammed Oscars organisers for introducing a new "popular film" category.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world", Bailey and Hudson said in a letter to members, a copy of which was sent to AFP. "That's what the Teen Choice Awards are for".

Announced on Wednesday afternoon, the 2019 Oscars will include a brand new category for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film which seems to be a way for the film body - who traditionally have been criticised for ignoring popular genre films in favour of stuffy dramas - to reconnect more with the masses. "Popular films" are often the mainstream smash hits that resonate with the general audience but not so much with Academy voters, creating a sharp divide between voters and viewers in the process.

Fans of this year's superhero sensation "Black Panther", from Disney's Marvel Studios, have been arguing that it deserves a best picture nomination. "If a movie is truly great, then it should be eligible for Best Picture".

In recent years, the Academy Awards have continuously suffered from low ratings. Including past winners that are blockbuster films like Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

But there are arguably more instances of blockbusters being shut out of the running, like in 2009 when "The Dark Knight" infamously didn't receive a nomination for Best Picture despite massive box-office success, critical acclaim and winning awards in eight other categories.

Now, there's uproar that the Academy is trying to recognize movies like "Black Panther" without the prestige.

Race issues have overshadowed the Oscars for years. It implies that popular films, no matter how masterful they can be, are not worth honoring, which is just disgusting, if I'm to speak plainly. This year's telecast, hosted by Jimmy Kemmel, which was nearly four-hour long, dropped to an all-time low of 19 percent from the previous year to just 26.5 million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.