Seth Rogen Blasts Hollywood With Controversial Award Show Comments

Seth Rogen and Hollywood seem to part ways on this subject.

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Last year, the popularity of the Oscars plummeted. In spite of living in a time when people were staying in and watching TV more than never, the 2021 Academy Awards reported record low ratings. The awards show’s ratings drop had publications like Esquire posting articles like “Does Anyone Care About the Oscars Anymore?” Now, everyone’s favorite stoner actor is asking a question that will likely prove controversial. Seth Rogen of Superbad fame is asking exactly why anyone outside the entertainment industry should care about the Oscars.

Seth Rogen was talking with Insider while promoting a Super Bowl ad he made with Paul Rudd for Lay’s Chips when the subject of the Oscars’ popularity came up. “I don’t get why movie people care so much if other people care what awards we give ourselves,” Rogen said. “I don’t care who wins the automobile awards. No other industry expects everyone to care about what awards they shower upon themselves. Maybe people just don’t care. Maybe they did for a while and they stopped caring. And why should they?”

As Insider points out, the Oscars have been doing their best to boost viewership back up. They’ve removed original song performances from the ceremony, and even stopped hiring hosts. Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the 2018 ceremony, was the last host the show has seen. Apparently now seeing this as a detriment, the Oscars have announced there will be a host for the 2022 ceremony, though no names have been announced. In spite of all this, viewership hasn’t gone up and there’s no concrete signs this year will be any different.

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While Seth Rogen certainly has a point, his comments are a little ironic. After all, he’s asking about why people outside the entertainment world should care about entertainment awards, and he’s doing it while promoting a commercial. Think about that for a second — he’s promoting something that is itself a promotion. In other words, he’s advertising for an advertisement. It’s like when a movie studio releases a teaser for a trailer — not a teaser for a movie, but a teaser for a trailer for a movie. It would be like if you watched an infomercial that wasn’t advertising a product, but simply trying to get you to watch another, longer infomercial. It’s absurd. The only reason that kind of absurdity is viable is because so much of our culture revolves around entertainment, and that is precisely why there is an expectation that people outside Hollywood should care about the Oscars — because Hollywood is everywhere.

Why has Oscar viewership declined then? Why watch football or baseball or basketball if you don’t have a team to root for? Whether or not you agree with fans who feel films like Spider-Man: No Way Home and No Time to Die deserved a Best Picture nomination, plenty of those fans feel shut out of the Oscars. And how many of those potential viewers even saw Belfast or CODA or Licorice Pizza? That isn’t to say the Oscars should bow to the whims of what’s popular versus what the Academy feels is genuinely deserving, but it cuts to the truth of Seth Rogen’s words. Maybe it’s time for the Academy Awards to either broaden its definition of what deserves recognition, or accept that their ceremony isn’t for everybody.