I think we do, and we don’t. They’re kind of like the Queen before she passed: they’ve faded away into irrelevance, but every now and then we remember, “Oh yeah, that thing. Who even cares?”
Besides the slap heard around the world, what do you remember from any awards show in the past decade? There was Stormzy moonlighting as a backup dancer to the new ‘he who must not be named’ Kanye, the La La Land… um, actually no, it’s Moonlight fiasco. And although it wasn’t particularly controversial, the moment when everyone stood up and clapped for Martin Scorsese as Bong Joon-ho gave him a shout-out full of admiration and respect holds a special place in my mind.
There are plenty of lists of “unforgettable award show moments” that have completely faded from our collective consciousness- you can google it. If you don’t care about Scorsese and Stormzy then two of my list are probably forgettable to you, too.
The Hollywood celebrity zeitgeist itself has faded greatly. A generation of people in love with TikTok influencers has grown up in front of their phones instead of their TVs, and they couldn’t care less.
The thing is, we still care about art. We still care that some lesser show beat out our favourite shows; we still care when our favourite actors reach the mountaintop, we still care when they make their heartful speeches. Look at Ke Huy Quan’s speech this year.
That was wonderful. The oddity of award shows is that the ceremony of them is still important and valuable, but they are completely lacking in the grand feeling that’s congruent with ceremonies.
So, do we still care about award shows? Yes. Because if Michelle Yeoh doesn’t win the Oscar for best leading actress I’m going to write a very angry tweet about it.