It’s safe to say this decision is for the best.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced Thursday it will not include the Best Popular Film category in the 2019 Academy Awards. The category, titled Outstanding Achievement In Popular Film, was introduced on Aug. 8 as means of diversifying its slate with mainstream movies. However, the category received a ton of justifiable backlash, as many felt that the creation of this category was a way to slight critically and commercial films, such as Black Panther, from getting a Best Picture nomination.
The inclusion of a Best Popular Film category also drew some comparisons to the Best Animated Feature, as animated films are rarely nomiated for Best Picture, despite the critical and commercial success of films such as Zootopia, WALL-E and Frozen. The inclusion of a Best Popular Film category also was criticized as moot, as many films, particularly black films nominated in the past, were also both mainstream and critical successes — garnering either Best Picture nods or acting nods.
The Academy announced in an official statement that read in part, “The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released.”
Hopefull,y this means the award never returns.