Academy postpones popular film Oscar category

It's chief executive Dawn Hudson said further discussion was needed.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has postponed the introduction of a new category that rewards outstanding achievement in popular film.

The category was intended to be introduced at the next Oscars ceremony in February 2019.

The Academy’s chief executive Dawn Hudson said: “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognise the need for further discussion with our members.

“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.”

The new category was one of three new changes proposed by the Academy for the staging of the awards show, alongside an earlier air date of February 9 for the 2020 instalment and a reduced, “more globally accessible” telecast of three hours.

The Academy’s board of governors voted to create the award last month but its criteria for what films would be eligible and how they would be selected have yet to be decided.

A statement from the Academy acknowledged that implementing any new award nine months into the year “creates challenges” for films that have already been released.

The announcement of the popular film category drew criticism from industry experts and actors, including Rob Lowe.

Lowe wrote in a tweet in August: “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.”

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