They Went Woke: Oscars Facing Liquidity Crisis, Launch $500 Million Fundraising Drive As Viewers Flee

By Tyler Durden

Given that Ricky Gervais has been the only good thing about the Oscars in years, if not decades…

the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has launched a $500 million fundraising initiative in an effort to offset the Oscars dramatic drop in viewership – which went from nearly 44 million in 2014, to just 19.5 million in the latest ceremony, according to Statista.

Bill Kramer, the Academy’s Chief Executive, revealed in an interview with the Financial Times that the organization has already raised about $100 million, with contributions from high-profile donors like billionaire Leonard Blavatnik. The campaign is further bolstered by sponsorship agreements with renowned luxury brands, including the Dorchester Collection.

The timing of this fundraising drive is crucial as the Academy’s current broadcasting agreement with ABC, a Walt Disney-owned network, is set to expire in 2028, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Oscars. Negotiations for renewal are expected to commence shortly, with Kramer describing the existing deal as “very healthy” and lauding the partnership with Disney as “amazing.” However, the shift towards streaming and the upheavals in the television and film industry have prompted the Academy to pursue what Kramer calls a “revenue diversification campaign.”

“No healthy company or organization should rely on one source of support to a degree that could cause concern if that support decreases,” he told the outlet.

The move comes amid broader financial struggles within the non-profit arts sector. Notable institutions like the Metropolitan Opera in New York have had to draw emergency funds from endowments due to cash shortfalls, and the Sundance Film Festival has faced significant challenges recovering post-Covid-19 disruptions.

Going forward, the Academy is trying to position itself to appeal to a broader, more international donor base, reflecting a shift in its audience and membership demographics. Approximately 30 percent of its membership now resides outside the U.S., a significant increase from a decade ago.

As the Academy seeks to broaden its appeal and financial stability, the success of this global fundraising campaign could be pivotal. With the film industry and its audiences undergoing radical transformations, these efforts might not only reshape the Academy’s financial landscape but also its cultural footprint on a global scale – with the campaign set to be launched in Rome on Friday.

Good luck. As Gervais put it best in 2020:

No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out, going, “Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night.” But no, we got to drag it out for three hours…

…Seriously, most films are awful. Lazy. Remakes, sequels. I’ve heard a rumor there might be a sequel to Sophie’s Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl just going, “Well, it’s gotta be this one then.” All the best actors have jumped to Netflix, HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy-adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids, really. Have we got an award for most ripped junkie? No point, we’d know who’d win that.

Source: ZeroHedge

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