Oscars officials postpone Most Popular Film category after uproar

Actors, filmmakers, and fans alike were not receptive of the fresh prize classification.

Oscars bosses have halted plans to introduce a new category to celebrate box office hits after facing a public backlash.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members voted in favour of the new Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film category at a Board of Governors meeting last month (Aug18), as part of a series of changes to make the prizegiving more appealing to viewers.

Under the leadership of organisation president John Bailey, officials had intended to add the new award to the line-up for the 2019 event, set for 24 February, but the news was met with uproar from actors, filmmakers, and fans alike, with many taking to social media to express their disapproval of the move.

The widespread criticism has since made Academy chiefs rethink their ceremony overhaul, and on Thursday (06Sep18), Academy CEO Dawn Hudson announced the proposal was being put on ice for the time being to allow further research.

"The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released," she declared in a statement. "The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions, and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category.

"There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members," she continued. "We have made changes to the Oscars over the years - including this year - and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years."

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