If we wanted a sermon, Oscar, we’d go to church

Ideas

If we wanted a sermon, Oscar, we’d go to church

The sanctimonious shambles that was the Academy Awards proves the entertainment industry has lost its way

Celia Walden

If you’ve ever watched a TV show with an elderly family member, you’ll be familiar with the creeping confusion: Who is that? Why is she dressed like that? Wait, what does he have to do with the whole thing? Are we in an advert break? What year is it? What does this all mean?

By the end of the Oscars ceremony, we were all asking ourselves those questions – and, indeed, whether there’s still a place for award ceremonies. Americans were more disorientated than most, turning to one another on sofas and social media to ask the same question: “What on earth am I watching?”

I can’t answer that. The actor watching beside me wasn’t able to, either, raising his hands helplessly when I asked what the group of singing and dancing youngsters who appeared halfway through were doing at the biggest event in the showbusiness calendar (they were flogging viewers fast food), and why Eminem performed a hit song from 2002, Lose Yourself. (“No idea,” he replied. “They lost me a while back.”)..

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