Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Tuesday harshly criticizing the Oscars, saying that they are using the wrong approach by being too “politically correct,” which he claims caused the show’s historically low ratings this week.
“It will only get worse—if that’s possible,” Trump stated.
The 2021 Oscars television audience on Disney’s ABC broadcasting network crashed to 10.4 million viewers, less than half of the audience for last year’s ceremony, according to final Nielsen data released on Tuesday.
“What used to be called The Academy Awards, and now is called the ‘Oscars’ —a far less important and elegant name—had the lowest Television Ratings in recorded history, even much lower than last year, which set another record low. If they keep with the current ridiculous formula, it will only get worse—if that’s possible,” Trump stated.
“Go back 15 years, look at the formula they then used, change the name back to THE ACADEMY AWARDS, don’t be so politically correct and boring, and do it right. ALSO, BRING BACK A GREAT HOST. These television people spend all their time thinking about how to promote the Democrat Party, which is destroying our Country, and cancel Conservatives and Republicans. That formula certainly hasn’t worked very well for The Academy!”
The 10 million figure is a record low for the most well-known awards show in the film industry. Other awards shows have also fallen in ratings; the Golden Globes had 6.9 million viewers and the Grammy Awards had 9.2 million, both constitute record lows.
For most of the 2000s, the Academy Awards TV viewership was between 35 to 45 million each year.
TV viewership has been in decline in part due to the massive turn the general audience has taken toward social media and streaming services.
Trump also criticized the Academy Awards during a rally in 2020.
“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year?” Trump said among boos from the audience that echoed his expressions.
The former president praised the movies “Gone With the Wind” and “Sunset Boulevard.”
“Can we get Gone With the Wind back, please? Sunset Boulevard, so many great movies.”
That night, the topic “Gone With the Wind” rocketed to number 1 in the trending section of Twitter.
“Gone With the Wind” was later removed by HBO over allegations of racism.
In a statement released later explaining the move, HBO said the movie “is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society.”
Hattie McDaniel, who played a house servant called Mammy, was the first black actress to win an Academy Award.
Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.