Oscars viewership falls to under 10 million for first time ever

Hollywood's biggest night was down 58% from last year's show

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After being delayed several months due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, ratings for Sunday night’s 93rd Academy Awards hit an all-time low, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. 

Hollywood’s biggest night was reportedly watched by 9.85 million viewers, with only 1.9% of adults ages 18 to 49 tuning it. According to Deadline, that’s down 58% from last year’s show, which garnered 23.6 million viewers and was down by 6 million from 2019. 

Read More: Chadwick Boseman’s brother says family isn’t upset about Oscars snub: report

The drop in viewership is not incredibly surprising considering recent awards ceremonies have seen a dip in the audience. Last month’s Grammy Awards drew less than 10 million viewers, with 9.2 million, half of 2020’s total. The Golden Globes was down 64% with 6.9 million. The Emmys dropped to 6.1 million from 6.9 million in 2019, per USA Today

The 93rd Academy Awards aired Sunday night from Union Station and The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. As theGRIO previously reported, the 2021 Oscars recognized a lot of Black nominees and highlighted impactful projects and powerful performances. 

theGRIO’s Tonya Pendleton noted that the night’s biggest award winners turned out to be familiar white names and not the lauded performances that were expected to make for historic wins. Nevertheless, there were several memorable moments that stood out to celebrities and fans alike. Most notably, the late Chadwick Boseman’s final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom did not win, something that perplexed most observers. Anthony Hopkins won instead for the role as a man battling dementia in The Father.

Derrick Boseman, brother of the late actor, told TMZ that his family was not upset by the snub. The actor passed away last August at the age of 43 after he battled privately with colon cancer. Hopkins gave him a shoutout as he accepted his award in a video message shared on social media. 

“And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early…and again, thank you all very much,” Hopkins said, per theGRIO. “I really did not expect this. So I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Meanwhile, Viola Davis, who would have become only the second Black woman to ever win the Best Actress Oscar after Halle Berry’s 2002 win for Monster’s Ball, was also snubbed in favor of Frances McDormand in Nomadland, which won Best Picture. Chloé Zhao, who is Chinse became the first woman of color to win Best Director and only the second female winner ever.

Read More: Oscars 2021: Black winners from the last ten years

Film mogul Tyler Perry accepted the Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his numerous works of charity, including the Perry Foundation, which has helped those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perry used his speech to urge viewers to refuse hate.

The multi-talented artist explained, “When I set out to help someone it is my intention to do just that, I’m not trying to do anything other than meet someone at their humanity.” He continued by referencing his mother, saying, “My mother taught me to refuse hate. She taught me to refuse blanket judgment. And in this time with all of the internet and social media…it is my hope that all of us will teach our kids to refuse hate. Don’t hate anybody.”

In case you missed the 93rd annual Academy Awards show, check out the full list of winners here.

*Additional reporting by Jared Alexander and Courtney Wills.

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