The Oscars boycott by President Donald Trump supporters may have played a major role in the Oscars 2017 having the smallest audience in nine years, according to the Daily Mail.
— DonaldTrumpNews (@NewssTrump) March 3, 2017
The 32.9 million viewers, the Oscars smallest audience since 2008, tuning in to watch the live broadcast came amid calls from Trump supporters to follow an Oscars boycott following Hollywood’s repeated criticism towards the President and his policies. The Oscars viewership this year plummeted by more than a million viewers from the Oscars 2016 and drew the Academy Awards’ smallest audience since 2008, when only 32 million viewers watched the annual awards broadcast.
While one can argue that the Oscars boycott by Trump supporters could have had a major impact on the Oscars 2017 viewership, an audience drop has been Academy Awards’ trend for three years in a row now. After reaching more than 40 million viewers in both 2013 and 2014, the Oscars viewership has been plummeting since 2015, when only 37.3 million people tuned in.
— Next Day Rising (@NextDayRising) February 28, 2017
However, many viewers – many of whom could be Trump supporters – may have been put off by Hollywood’s growing anti-Trump sentiment, which became obvious during the politically charged atmosphere during the Golden Globes in January.
Trump supporters were quick to call for an Oscars boycott after the politically-charged Globes, which focused mainly on throwing mud at the President, when even Meryl Streep used her acceptance speech to criticize Trump, who hadn’t even assumed office at the time.
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But the Oscars 2017 will go down in history not only thanks to the Oscars boycott and low viewership, but also because of that controversial gaffe at the end of the broadcast, when the Best Picture award was initially given to the wrong film – La La Land – before it was announced that the actual winner was Moonlight.
But those who took part in the Oscars boycott and didn’t witness that historically awkward moment during the live Oscars broadcast are probably already regretting their decision to boycott this year’s ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. But not only Trump supporters took part in an Oscars boycott this year, as his critics also ironically boycotted this year’s awards ceremony in the wake of the President’s executive order to bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Times.
— Tribune Blogs (@tribuneblogs) March 1, 2017
Even director Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film this year, decided to participate in a different kind of Oscars boycott. Farhadi, an Iranian director, was affected by Trump’s travel ban, as the immigration order included his country along with Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
Since Farhadi wasn’t present at the ceremony to accept the Academy Award, he sent the first Iranian in space, Anousheh Ansari, to accept the award on his behalf. Farhadi announced his Oscars boycott shortly after Trump unveiled the travel ban in late January.
And although a federal judge later put the brakes on the President’s immigration order, Farhadi still insisted on his Oscars boycott and urged fellow countrymen and citizens of other countries affected by the travel ban to follow suit.
Accepting the Oscar on behalf of Farhadi, Ansari read a statement from the filmmaker, who called Trump’s travel ban an “inhumane law.”
“My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of six other nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”
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Celebs gathered inside the Dolby Theater during the Oscars 2017 met Farhadi’s statement with a standing ovation. In his statement, the Iranian director stressed that filmmakers around the world “create empathy” between various nationalities and religions.
“An empathy which we need today more than ever.”
Farhadi stood by his Oscars boycott even though he could have been granted an exemption from the ban.
[Featured Image by Jack Taylor/Getty Images]