Former Oscars Producer: ‘Vast Swaths’ of Viewers Tuned Out When Celebs Talked Politics

HOLLYAWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Patricia Arquette accepts the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for "Boyhood" onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Hollywood likes to blame the downward trajectory of Oscar ratings on changing viewer habits and the length of the show, which usually clocks in at close to four hours. But now there’s more evidence left-wing politics is at least partly responsible for the exodus of viewers.

A former producer of the annual Academy Awards telecast has revealed that progressive politics is a major turn-off for people at home, saying that viewers switched off their TVs whenever celebrities promoted political  viewpoints, which in Hollywood are almost always left-wing.

The anonymous producer told the New York Times that a minute-by-minute post-show ratings analysis indicated that “vast swaths” of people turned off their televisions whenever celebrities started to opine on politics.

In recent Oscars telecasts, the stars have lined up to crack jokes or register their disapproval of Donald Trump and his presidency. When Brad Pitt won a statuette for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood last year, the star used his acceptance speech to criticize Republican senators during the Trump impeachment trial.

Controversial subjects like diversity, representation, and transgender issues have also featured prominently during Oscar night. Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for Boyhood in 2015 concluded with a feminist rallying cry for “wage equality” and “equal rights for women.”

The Oscars has steadily grown more political with each decade since the 1950s. A Morning Consult analysis published this week found the percentage of Oscars speeches containing political content has steadily increased, with 67 percent of all speeches during the 2010’s featuring at least one political word or a reference to representation.

That’s up from 56 percent a decade ago and 44 percent in the 1990s. Back in the ’60s, it was just 15 percent.

The findings come as ABC is preparing for yet another ratings fiasco for Sunday’s Oscars broadcast. This year’s Golden Globes experienced a disastrous 60 percent drop in ratings, while the Grammys tumbled by close to 50 percent.

As Breitbart News reported, a recent poll of 1,500 “active entertainment consumers” showed that not a single one of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees has received any widespread public awareness.

Last year’s Academy Awards telecast drew a paltry 23.6 million viewers, down from 29.6 million the year before. Two decades ago, the Oscars drew nearly double the amount of viewers, with the 2000 broadcast watched by 46.3 million people.

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