Billy Crystal Speaks Out on What Could Fix Oscar After This Year’s Record-Low Ratings

by Halle Ames

Billy Crystal is speaking out against the Oscars, saying what can help them with their staggering viewership numbers. 

This year, the 93rd anniversary of the popular award show was held on April 25, 2021, in California. The Oscars also saw a record-low rating in 2021. Actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director Billy Crystal thinks he knows the reason why. 

Billy Crystal Chimes In

Crystal believes that the show’s decline in ratings is because the Oscars refuse to employ a host for the notable event in recent years.

According to Fox News, the now 73-year-old actor was first cast to host the Oscars in 1990. The most prominent film award show loved him so much they asked him to come back and host in 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2012. You could say Billy Crystal was as much a staple on the show as the Oscars trophies themselves.

Being an expert at the Academy Awards, Billy Crystal did an interview with People to share his thoughts on the switch to no host. 

“To me, a show needs a host. You need a center,” Crystal said. “Let’s face it, after the first 40 minutes, four out of five people have lost. By the end of the night, the winners are all backstage, and you’re dealing with disgruntled people who are disappointed. You want to make them feel good and the home audience to stay with the show.”

The last time the Oscars had a host was in 2018 with comedian Jimmy Kimmel. 

Oscar Statistics

In 2021, the award show had numerous A-list celebrities introduce categories, which is what the job of a singular host would do. Furthermore, the switch did not pan out, resulting in record-low ratings. This is the second year the show has seen a decline in ratings. 

According to Variety, citing early Nielsen numbers, an average of 9.85 million viewers watched the show, which is nearly a 58% or 13.75 million viewer drop-off from last year. Additionally, the Oscars earned only a 1.9 rating among the award show’s key demographic of adults aged 18-49.

Some of the factors that experts are blaming for the drop are coronavirus pandemic, closed movie theaters, and the limited number of films that came out because of the virus contributed to the record-low ratings. However, no host has probably aided to people not feeling inclined to tune in.

As for next year, we are curious to see if the prominent show invites Billy Crystal back for another year.