Tech: The Academy is scrapping plans for a controversial 'popular film' Oscar — at least for 2019

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that it is pulling the recently-announced "popular film" award from the next Oscars ceremony, and said that it "merits further study."

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that it's delaying the debut of a recently announced "popular film" Oscar.
  • The award will not be included at the 2019 Oscars because it "merits further study."
  • "The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released," it said in a statement.
  • The category was met with a wave of backlash from critics when it was announced.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that the controversial new "popular film" category will not be included at the 2019 Oscars because it "merits further study."

"While remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies, the Academy announced today that it will not present the new Oscars category at the upcoming 91st awards," the Academy said in a statement. "The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released. The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions, and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category."

It was only a month ago that the Academy announced it would introduce the category at the 2019 Oscars (which honors this year's films), but it was quickly met with a wave of backlash from film critics and celebrities alike.

"There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. "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 Academy seems to have left the opening to either debut the category in 2020 (or beyond), or scrap the idea altogether.

But whatever happens to the category in the future, its scrapping from this year's ceremony means films like "Black Panther" may have a better shot at the Oscars' top prize: best picture. Marvel is making a serious Oscars push for the first time to get the movie nominated, and Disney has even hired a veteran Oscars strategist to lead the campaign.

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