Viewership for the 2021 Oscars reached an all-time low this year with ratings falling to under 10 million.
Statistics revealed that just 9.85 million people tuned in to watch the ceremony, which is down by an incredible 58% compared to 2020.
Criticism was levelled at the ‘wokeness’ of the event and excessive virtue signalling in the speeches from hosts and award winners.
One of the biggest upsets of the night was the Best Actor award being snapped up by Anthony Hopkins over fan-favourite late Chadwick Boseman, which later sparked huge backlash online.
Many had assumed that the ceremony had switched the categories around so that Chadwick’s posthumous win for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom would be announced last.
However, Anthony won but was not there to collect his award meaning the show ended on an anti-climax for many viewers.
Others blamed the lack of interest on the fact that many had been unable to see the films celebrated this year due to the coronavirus pandemic closing cinemas.
Nomadland became the lowest-grossing film to win Best Picture in decades.
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Among the fiercest critics was Piers Morgan, who blasted the ceremony as being “unwatchable” in his latest column for MailOnline.
He wrote: "I'd have been genuinely more entertained if I'd actually just watched trains coming and going.”
He also joined in on the criticism of the night’s lack of star power, claiming he’d seen more famous people at his Christmas party.
Oscars 2021 full winners list as Nomadland leads the way with historic wins
Piers said viewers were "treated to a breathtakingly boring procession of self-indulgent heavily scripted actors delivering supremely virtuous identity-politics speeches.
He concluded: ”The tragic truth is that the Oscars as we know it died last night – woked to death by a craven collective desire from those involved to preach not entertain, to lecture rather than make us laugh, and to virtue-signal instead of performing."
Despite receiving backlash, the Oscars were also applauded by many for the strides they made in breaking down diversity barriers with a number of historic wins.
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Chloe Zhao became the first woman of colour and the only second woman ever to win Best Director for Nomadland.
Yuh-Jung Youn also became the first Korean actor to ever win an Academy Award for her performance in Minari.
Meanwhile, Daniel Kaluuya made history as the first British non-white actor to win Best Supporting Actor for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah.
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Additionally, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first black women to win the Oscar for Best Hair and Makeup and spoke about breaking barriers in their acceptance speech.
They said: “I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in. Who were denied but never gave up. And I also stand here, as we break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future.
"Because I can picture black trans women standing up here, Asian and Latina sisters, and indigenous women. And it won't be unusual or groundbreaking one day, it will just be normal.”
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