ChrisRock-Oscars

2016 Oscars Hit Lowest Viewer Totals In 8 Years


(AllHipHop News) Did Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith get the last laugh? For choosing not to attend the ceremony over the lack of diversity in the acting categories, the famous couple became the butt of a few jokes during Sunday night’s 88th annual Academy Awards. It appears the Smiths were not the only ones tuning out on the Oscars.

[ALSO READ: Chris Rock Addresses #OscarsSoWhite Controversy, Jada Pinkett Smith, & Racism In Hollywood During Oscar Monologue (VIDEO)]

According to Deadline, the event pulled in 34.3 million total viewers which is an 8-year low for the Oscars and the third lowest viewership ever. The disappointing tally comes after weeks of media hype surrounding Chris Rock serving as host and talk of Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning his first Oscar for The Revenant.

Some news outlets are not crediting the #OscarsSoWhite boycott as a factor in the low numbers, instead pointing to the fact few blockbusters were up for Best Picture this year. However, National Action Network founder Al Sharpton directly connected the boycott to the decline in ratings for this year’s Academy Awards.

“The early reports of a decline in the Oscar viewership is heartening to those of us that campaigned around asking citizens to tune out,” said Sharpton in a statement. “This is a significant decline and should send a message to the Academy and to movie studio heads. Though clearly we don’t take full credit for the decline, certainly one would have to assume we were effective and part of the decline. And to those that mocked the idea of a tune out, it seems the joke was on them.”

The Best Picture category rarely contains blockbuster movies such as 2015 crowd pleasers Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Oscar nominees did include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, and The Martian which all made over $300 million at the international box office.

In 2014, American Sniper ($547 million) was the only major hit to earn a Best Picture nod. The last film to gross over $1 billion and get nominated for Best Picture was Toy Story 3 in 2011.

[ALSO READ: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ & Will Smith Snubbed For 2016 Oscar Nominations]

  • Drake’s 3rd best Ghostwriter

    They should double the amount of categories. It would increase the likelihood of a black person winning or being nominated. It would actually give everyone a better chance really. Win, Win.

  • WeakSauce

    Ask the Actors if they really care about the low ratings lol

    • Jmo-Texas

      They care somewhat..if those sponsors pull out due to low ratings and bad publicity, that means low money for the network!!

      • WeakSauce

        ChaChing! For the networks!

    • Watever

      I’m sure they do. Part of the reason they even show up to events like that is to get exposure. They live off of publicity. Plus, when the networks make less money, the actors end up making less money in the long run (smaller budgets). All that trickles down.

      • WeakSauce

        You might be up to something here

  • Knickfan4life

    I only watch Netflix and sports I rarely go to the movies anymore with larger screens coming out every day. So who cares about the oscars

    • Jmo-Texas

      I feel you! I cut my cable off 2 years ago and moved to a Roku box with Netflix, Hulu ect.. Could care less about the Oscars.

  • Jmo-Texas

    Another win for black folks while Obama is still in office lol!

    • True!

    • W.E.B. Du Bois

      dumb comment — Obama got nothing to do with any victory we had in his office

      • Jmo-Texas

        Calm urself, I was being sarcastic..

  • yomomma

    also the walking dead was on so im sure that took away viewers too

    • MrTroyMercy

      Yo….we think alike….I just posted that before I read your post. Lmao.

    • Rich Martinezlpb

      Yea aint nobody missing The new episodes for nothing

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  • Is it me or does Chris Rock look like a big ass house n*gga in that photo? 😂😂😂

    Yeah, they need to be afraid. America isn’t the place from the 1950’s. It ain’t all White no more. You can’t ignore a big block of a certain race just to make your sh*t milky. Now, if you aren’t inclusive, your earnings will reflect that.

    • MrTroyMercy

      Yo, stfu.

  • ursocalledgod

    the Oscars have been slowly dropping off every year for 8 years now. come on now people! what were the 3 major movies starring blacks this year? Beasts of no nation, concussion, straight out of Compton? if yall are offended that these movies didn’t get nominated you have NO idea what top tier acting, top quality production, visuals, costumes, sound, and make up are. oh I almost forgot to throw in chiraq…LMAO STOP IT!

    • Watever

      If BONN, Concussion & SOC were not “top tier” movies then why they did they all get nominated for numerous other film awards? So the were good enough to get recognized by the Golden Globes, Critic’s Choice Awards, BAFTA, Spirit Awards, & the SAG Awards, but not the Oscars? Makes no sense.

      • ursocalledgod

        what is considered the SUPER BOWL of awards? the championship ring of awards? is it not the Oscars? all those other awards are 2nd, 3rd tier. I personally think the independent, or sundance film festival hold more weight when it comes to top tier movies. if you think the Oscars are not the pinnacle than we have nothing more to discuss folk.

      • Watever

        I didn’t say they aren’t. But in most years the Oscars tend to nominate the same movies and actors celebrated at the other awards. So why was it that all these black led movies got recognized by the other industry awards (and some cases by the exact same voters) but got mostly ignored by the Oscars?

        Your original point was that the movies you named were not high quality films, but getting nominated for damn near every other film award is evidence the industry felt they were high quality films.

      • ursocalledgod

        never said they weren’t quality movies, however compared to the ones that were nominated and the one that took it home they pale in comparison. they also pale in comparison to what those people put into those movies. hard work and sacrifice art taken into consideration also. another thing all those movies I named were NOT voted for in all those other award shows. come on folk. I aint boo boo the fool. concussion was nominated by AAFCA, HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS, NAACP, SATELLITE, and the GOLDEN GLOBES. Beasts of No nation basically the same. those other ones not even close. those are NOT the same people that vote on the Oscars.

      • Watever

        You said they were not top tier movies. But again nearly every other award organization clearly thought they were.

        And how can you say they paled in comparison to the nominated movies as far as the work they point in? So you know for a fact Idris Elba, Will Smith, Michael B Jordan, Ryan Coogler, F Gary Gray, and the countless crew members didn’t work as hard as their white counterparts? That sounds a bit racist to me.

        And every one of the movies you named received respective nominations (and in some cases won) at every award show I mentioned. And I said some awards have the same voters as the Oscars (SAG Awards). And I said the film industry (which ALL of those awards represent) recognized BONN, SOC, & Concussion.

        Again, how can each of those black led movies get nominations throughout the entire FILM INDUSTRY, but they got mostly looked over at the Oscars?

  • Sgt. H. Jennings

    The viewership of the Oscars has been dropping consistently for years. It appears the so called boycott had an impact on the lackluster ratings. I disagree due to the fact that most of the boycotting revolved around African Americans who for the most past do not watch the Oscars to begin with. The Oscars is just a result of what’s going on behind the scenes. Boycotting something after the results have already taken place is somewhat counterproductive in my opinion. Truly boycotting or sending a message starts when the movies hit the theaters. DON’T GO!! Tanking at the box office in their world usually sends a message of something needs to change. What went wrong? Who didn’t go see this movie? Who was in the movie? I mean tapping the pockets is only the beginning but it sure as hell open the door for dialogue. They are asking the questions which is a bit out of the norm since the questions are usually coming from “us.” Start there if this is the aim so many are pushing for. Oh,, this is simply for entertainment purposes only.

  • Markus

    Watch they put this on the host somehow instead of the show itself. Then it can truly be said that Everybody Hates Chris.

    • Gasner Duke-Diesel

      True. If it wasnt for Chris the ratings would be record breaking low

  • RichFromBX

    Those don’t include DVR numbers. I’d be curious to see the stats on how many views happened on DVR after the original airing.

  • Q.

    The Oscars are falling off, because people are tired of the long, boring format. Besides that, 2015 wasn’t a great year for film–most people didn’t see the majority of the nominated movies. Chris Rock was the main reason to tune in.

    • Live Well

      I agree. Had nothing to do with black folks tuning out.

      • Watever

        You do realize it wasn’t just “black folks” turned off by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

      • Live Well

        I don’t deny that but I’d be shocked if too many non blacks were really committed to the “controversy”

      • Watever

        You don’t think liberal whites, Latinos, and others had an issue with only white actors being nominated? It was a MAJOR issue for like a month with a lot of media backlash. I wouldn’t be shocked if a good number of non blacks didn’t watch in solitary of the protest or out of guilt.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        I know alot of white and latinos turned off by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

      • Watever

        And I know a lot of whites and Latinos that were turned off that no POC actors were nominated.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        Whats POC? People of color? Yeah man I dont really know if they meant it but I know a few whites who talk against the Oscars being racist.

      • Watever

        People of color.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        But those white people also talk against the BET award. Perhaps they have a point though. Like Steve Harvey said last week, we cant move forward and backward at the same time.

      • Watever

        Having the BET Awards, TV One, ALMA Awards, Univision, Lifetime, WE and the Country Music Awards are not moving backwards. They were all created to celebrate a particular group because those groups regularly get ignored by mainstream entertainment. Celebrating and representing individual diversity happens because mainstream institutions/media don’t regularly celebrate them. If it was an even playing field, there would be no need for any of those groups. But we don’t live in that world.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        Thats true. Btw Imo equal opportunity will probably never exist but I would at least love to see black folks support each other 100% not just for Oscars but for more important issues.

      • Watever

        If you work in entertainment it was an important issue. And I’m not just talking about millionare actors. Racism in Hollywood affects a lot of people’s livelihood. Which affects a lot of people’s families. Plus the way we are viewed in the media is a very important issue.

        And black ppl can take issue with racism in all forms at the same time. The same way black people united for Justice For Flint, the Black Friday boycott, and Black Lives Matter, they can bring awareness to racism in the movie industry.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        Thats true if you look at it on that perspective. Its like racism in the workplace.

      • Live Well

        You may be right but I definitely have my doubts.

    • MrTroyMercy

      Word….none of them movies we’re worth watching and during the so call ceromony – the Piston Game was on and then Walking Dead…I wasn’t going watch that boring bullchit.

      • Q.

        Funny, Ryan Coogler was at the #JusticeForFlint concert, and Michael B. Jordan was at the Oscars. I watched both.

    • Watever

      Most people don’t ever see most of the films nominated in any year. That didn’t change. And the “long, boring” format hasn’t changed for decades either. So it just so happens this year was the year people got tired of the format to the point it was the third least watched Oscars in history? Nah, there was definitely other factors for why THIS Oscar show was one of the least watched ever.

      • Q.

        Actually, the format did change this year: the speech times were reduced, which made acceptances less interesting. And it’s always relative, as some years have better movies than others. 2015 was a relatively boring year in film.

      • Watever

        So people didn’t watch the Oscars because the speeches were shorter? That’s what you’re going with? First you said the show is too long, but now you’re saying making it shorter was the problem.

        Most “Oscars Movies” are considered boring every year. They tend to be more appealing for critics and film buffs. Not the mass public. How many ppl ran out to see Best Picture winners like Birdman, The Artist or The King’s Speech in the past few years?

        The irony is the popular critically acclaimed movies like Straight Outta Compton and Creed were shut out. And there were two more spots available in the Best Picture category so less “boring” films like those could have been nominated.

      • Q.

        Bickering Betty, I didn’t say the show was shorter, I said the acceptance speech format was changed, and less interesting…Got it? I’m not going through this attention-whoring exercise with you today.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        Watever is right on. I bet you the ratings would have been alot higher had Straight Outta Compton and Creed actors been nominated.

      • Q.

        If “Straight Outta Compton” had been nominated, I’m sure a lot more younger, Black audiences would’ve been interested in Oscars. However a film’s popularity doesn’t determine a nomination. And a Creed actor was nominated: Sly Stallone. He lost.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        I didnt watch Creed but I saw SOC. That movie was really good and I think one of these young actors should have been nominated. But there wasnt many good movies last year and movies going down hill like music.

      • Q.

        SOC was a good film. Creed was even better, IMO. Relative to the caliber of this year’s nominees, I don’t think any individual performance in SOC was really Oscar-worthy. I do agree that 2015 was a relatively weak year for film, blockbusters notwithstanding. The Oscars don’t usually favor big action or sci-fi films. Mad Max and Star Wars got nods for sound and visual effects, though.

      • Gasner Duke-Diesel

        Oh ok im going to order Creed this week.

      • Q.

        You won’t be disappointed!

      • Watever

        I’m sure you know that they shortened the speeches to shorten the show. Again, are you suggesting shorter speeches is the reason the ratings were the third worst ever?

        You just can’t back up any of your claims. You keep changing your reasoning for why the ratings were so low. When it’s seems pretty clear the boycott affected the numbers.

      • Q.

        I didn’t change any reasoning at all, Betty–you’re reaching for something that isn’t there. Shortened speeches or not, the show was still over 3 hours, which is too long and boring to average viewers. It’s not clear a “boycott” affected ratings. Was there even a boycott, or just TALK about one?…If so, then who did the boycotting? Spike Lee is just one person. Who else, Al Sharpton?? LOL
        Like Chris Rock said, you can’t boycott what you aren’t invited to.

      • Watever

        There was a protest outside the Oscars. There was a Flint fundraiser held the same night that included a lot of minority entertainers that chose not to go the Oscars. Social media was full of ppl saying they would not watch. And most ppl were not “invited” to the Oscars. Did every potential viewer in America have to be “invited” to the Oscars in order to boycott watching the show on TV? Do you even understand how a TV boycott works?

      • Q.

        Bickering Betty, name the entertainers, who were actually invited to the Oscars, that boycotted. I already mentioned Spike Lee. Ryan Coogler was in Flint, but Michael B. Jordan was in. L.A.. Who else?

      • Watever

        You clearly don’t get how a TV boycott works. VIEWERS chose to boycott watching the show. Which is partly why the ratings were the third worse ever.

      • Q.

        “There was a Flint fundraiser held the same night that included a lot of minority entertainers that chose not to go the Oscars.”

        Betty, I’m not interested in your opinions. WHO ARE THE “MINORITY” INVITED ENTERTAINERS WHO BOYCOTTED THE OSCARS?

      • Watever

        And I’m not interested in your attempts to distract from the topic. You asked was there even a boycott. I told you that VIEWERS chose to boycott. What does “invited” entertainers not going to the event have to do with VIEWERS boycotting the show and affecting the ratings?

        For the record, the only people officially “invited” to the Oscars are people that are nominated. Obviously, since no black actors were nominated then none were invited by the Academy. In case you forgot, that was why people were upset in the first place. So again the boycott was not about not going to the ceremony. The boycott was about NOT WATCHING the Oscars show.

        But to play your game. The following are some of the ppl that called out the Oscars for the lack of diversity in the nominations this year: Spike Lee, Will Smith, Jada Smith, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Lupita N’yongo, George Clooney, Ava DuVernay, Don Cheadle, Danny Devito, Bette Midler, Ryan Coogler, Tyrese, Daniel Radcliffe, Lena Dunham, and Reese Witherspoon.

        And no that’s not everybody. And no they were not “invited” to the Oscars, because again none of them were nominated. But the fact that they spoke out influenced how people perceived the Oscars and lead to more people choosing to boycott WATCHING the show.

        And don’t try and list the black entertainers that presented at the Oscars, because 1. Again the boycott was about not watching the show. It wasn’t about not going. 2. The Academy doesn’t choose the presenters. The network decides who will present at the show not the Oscars. 3. Protestors did not call on black entertainers not to present at the show. They just called on people not to watch it.

      • Q.

        Nice book report, Betty. You listed a bunch of names of people who weren’t invited to show, and said they were boycotting. LOL You can’t boycott what you’re not invited to, so that was a moot point. And Rev. Al didn’t affect a damn thing–I didn’t even hear about that protest until the show was over… So, you FAILED that question, homegirl.

        Let’s try one more: HOW DO YOU MEASURE A TV BOYCOTT?

        I want FACTS ONLY. Your opinions are useless to me.

      • Watever

        I already said they weren’t “invited” and why they weren’t invited. And I already said the boycott was not about people not attending the show. It was about people not watching. So you FAILED before you even wrote that last response.

        And you measure a TV boycott by the fact the show had the lowest ratings in 8 years (FACTS) and was the third lowest rated Oscars in its entire history (FACTS). See how that went back to my original point that the boycott affected the viewing numbers.

        So unless you have proof (you know FACTS) that the TV boycott did not play a role in the Oscar ratings being one of the worst in 88 years, move along.

      • Q.

        LOL Betty, you’re pretty a dumb chick. I asked you two simple questions, and you couldn’t answer either one…If lower ratings alone are proof that a TV boycott was effective, then explain the two lower Oscar ratings in the past 10 years. Were those because of boycotts too? YOU FAIL! FOH

      • Watever

        Learn to read – “the third lowest rated Oscars in its entire history”. That’s over 88 years not just in the last ten years. The proof is VIEWERS said they were boycotting. #OscarsSoWhite and “Oscar boycott” were trending on social media throughout the month. There were countless articles, think pieces, and blogs about the boycott. Again more FACTS.

        Still waiting on a reply to this:
        “So unless you have proof (you know FACTS) that the TV boycott did not play a role in the Oscar ratings being one of the worst in 88 years, move along.”

        No answer to that huh? No FACTS to back up your claims huh?

      • Q.

        Betty, Betty, Betty…you’re good at trolling–I’ll give you that. But you suck at trying to debate. I’m not here to prove sh!t to you, homegirl–the burden of proof is on YOU. I didn’t ask you for opinion, nor I do care, remember? You’re trying to push your opinion on me as fact, with NO FACTS. Did you take a poll of every person who said they were going to boycott the show? Where is your numerical data to measure a boycott’s affect on ratings? Just as many people might have tuned into the show just to see Chris Rock, as those who claimed to tune out. So, how would you account for the offset? Ratings for the Oscars have only been recorded since the 1970’s. The three lowest-rated broadcasts were in 2008 (worst), 2003(second), and 2016 (third).
        HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE LOWEST OSCAR RATINGS, IN 2003 AND 2008? …WERE THERE BOYCOTTS THEN, TOO??

      • Watever

        I’ve laid out FACT after FACT after FACT.

        Pointing out low ratings in other years is not proof that a boycott did not affect ratings THIS YEAR. Obviously, a boycott did not affect those years, because there was no boycott. That’s common sense.

        If people have publicly said they did not watch the show THIS YEAR to boycott, that is proof that less people watched THIS YEAR because of a boycott. And if more people tuned into see Chris Rock host this year the ratings would have been higher this year then last year, not lower.

        Again:
        “So unless you have proof (you know FACTS) that the TV boycott did not play a role in the Oscar ratings being one of the worst in 88 years, move along.”

      • Q.

        “if more people tuned into see Chris Rock host this year the ratings would have been higher this year then last year, not lower.”

        LOL That didn’t even make sense, Betty…didn’t address my question at all about offset. SMH But we’re done. I’m not wasting more keystrokes explaining basic logic to you. Ten posts later you’re in the same spot. DEBATE TEAM FAIL. You may dismount from my balls now.

  • In Black America Radio

    we gotta stop “celebrating” weak accomplishments
    if we boycotting the oscars then damn it, boycott the next 10 oscars and not watch and lets see where the ratings fall.
    do black people NOT know that the bus boycott was for a year? not a holiday, a weekend or event. stop it
    But on another note……………..Salute the movement and anything black people do

  • jlo1089

    OMG why does this even matter people are dying in the streets , people in Flint have no clean water, and Trump talking about banning whole groups of people and we worried about a dang on Oscar this is so stupid and the Only reason Will and Jada pissed is cause Will did not get nominated keep it real this is not the first year the Oscars lacked diversity yet the Smiths were front and center walking that red carpet. And Al please Sharpton we got way more pressing things to worry about than a damn boycott the Oscars this is so stupid

    • ZUBU

      Yes we have other things to be concerned about, but for the people in this industry it is their career. You win awards and command higher salaries, and more opportunities.
      —————–
      If you work for a company (any company) and you’re not considered for employee of the year, quarter, etc. and only white people are considered I’m sure you would not be very happy with that system…

      • Cosign what you just said. But it’s not only that. It’s also about perception and impressionable minds. If you have children, those kids have dreams of being a star. A lot of them utilize these movies as dream-starters. I can’t count how many people wanted to Change their life because of their favorite movie or got motivated to change their lives from seeing their favorite actor make it. So awards shows matter. What does it say to the little Black kid that wants to be a star but doesn’t see any melatonin on that award stage? This stuff matters. In a lot of ways it becomes equally important because the youth are affected.

      • ZUBU

        Very true bro! Why it is so important for kids, all kids but especially kids of lower socio-economic, educational levels to see positive imagery… Important for them to see doctors, lawyers, educators, business owners, etc. In real life as well on screen… Visual imagery is powerful!

  • Black Exodus

    Good…moral of the story…”Don’t Support those…That Don’t Support You!”

  • Opposite Of Everyone

    If someone black wins an award next year everyone will call it tokenism and the actor will feel exploited….

    #MeanwhileInSyria

  • pauleyPee

    This matters. All of these issues are interrelated… In a nutshell. And it’s important to make ground where possible. Media/Film is extremely powerful in influencing outcomes and opinions, so needless to say, this is an important front in the information war.

    • DianeKLove


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  • Common Man

    So who is going to win the token oscar next year. I bet they give it to Kevin Hart for Ride Along 2!! LOL

  • DianeKLove


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