In the few hours since the Motion Picture Academy announced it will add a category for popular films, the complaints have already begun pouring in.
“The new film category quickly drew negative attention, with ‘popular film’ becoming a trending topic on Twitter by Wednesday afternoonm” the AP reports.
The report quotes Mark Harris, the author of “Five Came Back,” tweeting that the popular film award “is a ghetto and will be perceived that way.”
A tweet from actor Rob Lowe says: “The film business passed away today with the announcement of the ‘popular’ film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.”
The AP adds: “The addition of the popular film category, a clear effort to attract a larger audience to the ABC broadcast by honoring bigger and more seen films, led many to wonder whether a film like ‘Black Panther’ would be ineligible for best picture and relegated to the popular film award because of its size and success, or lead to inadvertent segmenting by film academy voters.”
The eligibility requirements will reportedly be determined later, but the AP report notes that “other top film categories like best animated feature and best foreign language film don’t prohibit a best picture nomination. ‘Toy Story 3’ was nominated for both best picture and best animated feature.”
The academy has not specified whether the new popular film category would be added for the 91st Academy Awards, which will be presented this February.