Are the Oscars worth celebrating?

THE 96TH OSCARS at the Dolby Theater. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Kat Piantka | News Editor

March 15, 2024

The 96th Academy Awards, otherwise referred to as the Oscars occurred on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, hosted by four-year returner Jimmy Kimmel. займ без отказа. The night celebrated the accomplishments in acting and cinema as they acknowledged the greatest films and performances of 2023. The twenty-three categories range from best actor, supporting actor, short film, documentary, animation film, best director, original motion picture, visual effects, costume design, and even makeup. The thriller, non-fiction drama Oppenheimer stole the show as they won seven out of thirteen Academy Award nominations. Poor Things and Killers of the Flower Moon followed with leading nominations and wins. 

While the Oscars is a highly anticipated night in Hollywood and is always exciting to watch among movie fanatics and fashionistas alike, it also unfortunately celebrates and encourages consumerism, extravagance, and materialism. The cost to host and organize this one-night event is a shocking total of $56.9 million. Costs soar because of things like the $25,000 red carpet, 24 karat gold plated awards, the iconic Dolby Theatre venue, and all 25 nominees in acting and directing, including Jimmy Kimmel, receiving “‘Everybody Wins’’ gift bags worth over $180,000” states First Post. These gift bags are often controversial as they gift some of the wealthiest people in the world thousands of dollars of unnecessary, expensive products that they could easily afford on their own. The money contributed towards the gift bags could go towards other important real-life issues affecting the world. While millions are dying of starvation and suffering in poverty, struggling to stay alive in war-torn countries such as Ukraine and Gaza, Hollywood’s biggest stars are simply throwing away money, for what real purpose?  The millions spent on this event alone could go towards nations and those less fortunate, who will never be able to bask in this wealth and luxury. 

THE EXTRAVAGANCE of Ryan Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars. (Rich Polk/Getty Images)

Americans and viewers across the globe do not need to applaud the same stars who already appeared and were celebrated at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice Awards, Emmys, and many other award shows. If the critics and others in the Hollywood community realize how excessive and even ridiculous all of these ceremonies are, the number of events could be limited and so can the economic and global costs that come along with hosting and catering these lavish events. Maybe the use of the money can be reevaluated and go towards more meaningful and long-term problems. 

Sophomore Martina Curbera points out that award ceremonies’ range of attendees, including the Oscar’s, are growing as social media influencers and non-celebrities are recognized just as much as the stars because they have enough money to attend. The new varieties of audiences are proving that the once prestigious ceremonies are now translating into a “show of wealth.” Now one does not have to be a four-time Grammy nominee, A-list actor, or actress– they can go simply because “they are known” throughout social media rather than working hard for their reputation. This new crowd of ‘celebrities’ at award shows demonstrates how the Oscars and other nights of celebration are on the decline.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, overwhelming red carpet look. (Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters)

The money celebrities spend on their attire is equally as shocking. According to the Courier-Journal, “the average ‘A-list’ actress spends around $10 million on their outfit ensemble.” Even a less famous actor or actress will spend around “$1.5 million and first-timers spend around $266,000 on attire,” further demonstrating that these events celebrate all of the wrong things as the celebrities flaunt their wealth to the millions who watch the livestream. However, an actress has yet to surpass Lady Gaga’s record-breaking 2019 Oscars look which cost over $30 million due to her Tiffany & Co necklace.

Sophomore Audrey Folila similarly agrees on how outrageous the fashion is, and stated how “celebrities are shallow” and that they “spend so much money on outfits that are ugly half of the time.” Some could even argue that these celebrities should not be viewed as role models or idols to younger generations, as they succumb to greed, vanity, and pretentiousness.

While the Oscars continue to be known as the biggest night in Hollywood for the past 96 years, the reality of the event is that it highlights the flaws of society, as the majority of people are consumed by materialism, greed, fame, and wealth. The Oscars as well as other award ceremonies prove the priorities of the public, as they would rather throw millions of dollars away at some of the wealthiest people in the world than help those in desperate need that could be greatly impacted by a small percentage of what is spent on the Oscars and many other events in Hollywood. So next time you watch the classiest night in Hollywood ask yourself: Is this something worth celebrating?

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