Academy polls membership about divisive 2022 Oscars pre-recorded categories, future of Fan Favorite award
The Academy is polling its membership about the structure of the 94th Oscars telecast — particularly a set of questions for voters who attended the ceremony regarding the future of controversial changes made to this year's show.
One question in the survey (which was provided to EW by several Academy members) accessible to those who were in attendance at the show asks members to share their feelings on the Academy's decision to pre-record eight categories and edit portions of the winners' acceptance speeches into the live presentation. Response options range from advising the Oscars to do the same thing next year, alter the way they were edited into the show, nix the pre-recorded segments and incorporate all awards, or a final selection that indicates the Oscars need an "overhaul, and the format of the show should be reconsidered."
The following question gives voters the option to say whether the pre-recorded segments — which drew ire from industry figures like Jessica Chastain, Guillermo del Toro, and more — had a "positive or neutral impact" on their enjoyment of the program, with the second choice indicating that the pre-recorded bits had a "negative" influence. A subsequent section inquires about the "worst result" of the move, with members able to choose from answers signifying "disrespect" to the eight category winners, the condensed presentation failing to shorten the broadcast's runtime, and viewers potentially finding out who won via social media reports from people in attendance at the pre-show presentation.
According to an internal email also obtained by EW, the Academy's president, David Rubin, encouraged members to fill out the online questionnaire as a means to "add their voice, engage with the Academy, and support its mission." He added that the results of the survey would "inform our next steps as an organization, ensure we're meeting the needs of our membership, and ultimately help shape our future."
One of those steps appears to be addressing the continuation of the #OscarsFanFavorite award, which gave at-home viewers a chance to champion the best movie moments and their favorite film of the year. The inaugural audience-voted victories going to the scene where The Flash entered the Speed Force from Zack Snyder's Justice League and the Netflix action flick Army of the Dead, respectively.
The Academy's survey allows members to praise the Oscars Fan Favorite award getting "fans engaged and excited" about the Academy Awards, suggest that the award stays with alterations to its rollout, or that it "should not continue" at the 2023 Oscars.
Other portions of the survey poll members on which competitive categories they'd like to see added to future Oscars ceremonies, how they consume screener content, and other suggestions for how the Academy can improve the broadcast.
This year, the Oscars telecast received generally favorable reviews, thanks to warmly-received hosts Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer, CODA's Best Picture victory as a crowd-pleasing streaming title, and high profile performances — including Beyoncé's spectacular opening number.
The main headline from this year's Oscars, however, was the moment Best Actor winner Will Smith approached presenter Chris Rock on stage and slapped him in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith was later banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years, and resigned from the Academy.