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Readers React: The Oscars, in search of popularity

An Oscar statue in the ballroom at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in 2017.
(Danny Moloshok / Invision )

To the editor: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally realized that its Oscar choices will not be popular until it recognizes popular movies. Recent awards have dismissed popular approval in favor of someone’s idea of artistic merit and, more recently, political correctness. Let the elitists and politically correct crowd choose their own favorites, but let the Oscars be for the moviegoing public.

Don Tonty, Los Angeles

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To the editor: There is nothing new when it comes to the Academy Awards and how it all works. It is a supposedly prestigious organization that has rewarded the accomplishments of many talented artists since its inception in 1929.

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But when unforgettable artists such as Charlie Chaplin (won for a song many years after the fact), Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Eli Wallach and many, many more deserving artists never won the coveted Academy Award, it just proves how unimportant and little it really mattered in the end. Their contributions and their work live on and still entertain and astound us. That is their legacy and their gift to us.

Shiny statues tarnish up on the shelf and are soon forgotten. When you are lucky enough to see these treasures of the silver screen they shine and entertain us all over again. We never tire of watching these great artists at their best. No one remembers those silly award shows year to year but we sure remember Auntie Mame’s bracelets jingling and Gene Kelly singing in the rain and Fred Astaire flying with grace through the air as he danced without gravity.

And that is all that matters! The rest is Hollywood politics and profits and make-believe.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: Has anyone from the Academy considered another reason that the viewing audience has tumbled? Many of us who have been devoted viewers for many years have turned it off.

The Academy Awards has become a political platform for any and all who want to rant and rave and disparage our leaders in government. They are disrespectful and say just what they want.

It has become a long evening of political loathing of anyone who does not think as they do. They show respect only to each other. Intolerance? Yes! And they wonder why so many people turn it off. That would include a good part of our nation.

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Beth Laue, Burbank

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To the editor: I don’t watch the Academy Awards anymore, as I find it boring to see a room full of celebrities patting one another on the back. While the Academy and ABC try to understand the reasons behind the steady decline of the TV ratings, nowhere in the article did I see the most obvious reason: the political overtone of the event and the political grandstanding by many of the participants.

With a mostly negative, 24-hour news cycle, many people look to award shows, sporting events and movies for temporary relief, not to hear Robert De Niro drop the F-bomb. (That one was at the Tony Awards.) While the (mostly one-sided) politics voiced during the show may appeal to most of the 2,700 people sitting inside the Dolby Theater, many viewers want some escape time, and probably half of the country comes away offended by the comments they’ve heard.

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Jeff Pressman, Bell Canyon

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To the editor: Could the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which created the new “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film” category enabling the most popular film to get recognized, please speak directly to the electoral college about creating a new “Won the Popular Vote” category for president of the United States?

Conrad Corral, Cathedral City

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