It has been a rough week for the motion picture academy. They’ve been getting dragged by the press and the public for their recent announcement that they would add a new category for Best Popular Film to the next Oscars, without any specific details about what would qualify as a “popular” film. Now the Razzie Awards, Oscar’s wisecracking upstart little brother, are weighing in and telling the academy, please don’t! Scroll down to read the open letter from Razzies founders Mo Murphy and John Wilson.
The Golden Raspberry Awards were started in 1981 as a cheeky way to humble Hollywood for its gravest cinematic sins. Traditionally held the day before the Oscars telecast, the awards have honored such infamous Worst Pictures as “Howard the Duck” (1986), “Showgirls” (1995), “Gigli” (2003) and “The Emoji Movie” (2017). In 1996 the Razzies created a category similar to the one the Oscars are considering now: Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million, which went to the disaster movie “Twister.”
“But seriously, we’re not the Oscars,” Murphy and Wilson admit. Though their kudos poke fun at Hollywood, including a fair share of Academy Awards winners (Sandra Bullock even accepted a Razzie and an Oscar on the same weekend), the Razzies actually revere the Oscars. As they remind the academy, “Everyone depends on Oscar to point out the good stuff that might not otherwise be seen.” The proposal to create a consolation prize for big moneymakers in order to improve their telecast ratings betrays their mission and even diminishes the other awards that surround them. As Murphy and Wilson put it, “If you are devalued, so are we.”
Read the rest of the Razzies statement below. Do you agree with Murphy and Wilson about the academy’s proposed new Best Popular Film category?
The Razzies don’t always get it right. We get called on it. We usually ignore it because, well – who takes the Razzies seriously? But seriously, we’re not the Oscars. And the Oscars are not the low-brow $4.97 statuette that reminds otherwise good talent they done bad (or the talent-free they done made too much money).
The Oscars lowering themselves to “honor” popular fare just to get more eyeballs is not conducive to their brand. Everyone depends on Oscar to point out the good stuff that might not otherwise be seen. We sift through bottom-of-the-barrel mindless popular (and sometimes unpopular) entertainment. The Razzies invite the “dis-honored’ to humble themselves and “own their bad.” That’s our job.
So a tip to our older, more distinguished bald brother: You are our inspiration — don’t fail us now. The Razzies are co-dependent on Oscar. And if you are devalued … so are we.
Mo Murphy and John Wilson,
The Golden Raspberry Awards