The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that it will not present the Oscar for its proposed “popular film” category during February’s ceremony after all.
One reason for the reversal is because the award category was proposed late in the year after many films had already been released, a press release from the Academy said. The organization’s Board of Governors will continue to consider the 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,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said. “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.”
There were mixed reactions when the Academy first announced that it could be introducing a new “popular film” category in August, with some saying that it felt like “pandering.” Still, there will be some changes implemented for the show in 2019, including a shorter, three-hour-long telecast, where six to eight categories will be presented during commercial breaks. Those moments will be edited and aired later in the broadcast, and, according to the Academy, the categories will be rotated each year.
The Academy did not specify why it’s going to be implementing these changes, however, ratings seem to have played a key role. Ratings for the 2018 show were the lowest ever.
The Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, and it’ll be broadcast live on ABC.