The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to postpone the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film category that it had announced in August as a part of the upcoming 91st Academy Awards ceremony.
The Academy reached the decision on Thursday after the board of governors held a meeting on Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Academy said that introducing a new category nine months after the year has begun will pose challenges for films that have already hit the theatres. The matter will, however, continue to be in discussion at the Academy.
In August, the Academy announced that in addition to the introduction of the new popular film category, the telecast will be shortened and brought down to three hours. The Academy also said that the date of the 2020 Oscars ceremony will be pushed up in the calendar.
The decision, which came after John Bailey was re-elected as the Academy’s president, was a result of record-breaking low ratings for 2018. Even the United States president Donald Trump did not miss the opportunity to mock the poor show.
The new category, it was hoped, would attract mainstream audiences of blockbusters. However, no voting rules or eligibility criteria were put in place. Besides inviting controversy and backlash, the Academy’s decision also invited questions regarding the logistics of the proposal.
The Academy is going ahead with shortening the ceremony’s telecast time by not presenting all the 24 categories live. Awards for between six to eight categories will be presented during commercial breaks. The Academy is also sticking to its decision to hold the presentation ceremony on February 9, 2020.