*The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has divided a nation with its announced plan to add a “popular” category to the Academy Awards in 2020, and Lil Rel Howery has chosen a side.
The move, intended to recognize box office hits that get no love during award season, brought immediate backlash and derision on social media, with film critics and pundits suggesting the purpose of the award is to acknowledge popular films like “Black Panther,” while still separating them from the Academy’s self-perceived serious films in contention.
It truly is something that in the year Black Panther, a movie made just about entirely by and with black people, grosses $700 million, the Academy’s reaction is, “We need to invent something separate…but equal.”
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) August 8, 2018
Lil Rel Howery, whose film “Get Out” was nominated for best picture last year and lost to “The Shape of Water,” said the upcoming Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film category is long overdue.
“It’s about time,” he told The Hollywood Reporter at the Teen Choice Awards, held at The Forum in Los Angeles on Sunday. “If that had happened last year, ‘Get Out’ would’ve won the Oscar. We made more money than everybody else’s movies.”
As for the effect on the industry, Howery offered, “That would make you go see movies like ‘Girls Trip’ — comedies that are always pushed to the side that actually do better than most of these action films. MTV has been doing it so it’s nothing new to us as fans, but it’s about time the Oscars start to upgrade some things they’ve been doing for the last 70 years.”
“I think it’s great,” Robinson told THR. “It broadens [the Oscars] to an audience of what people are wanting to see, anyways.”