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Do award shows actually matter?

Illustration: Rigby Guerrero • The Sentry

It’s pointless praise to those who don’t need it

Opinion by Kaia Stallings

There’s something sinister about the idea of the Academy Awards. Every year the art that people have put out to the masses is put up against panels, judges, and the very people it was released to, all in order to receive a golden statue to accept in front of thousands. People tend to tune their ears in a little more when hearing words like, “Oscar nominated” or “Grammy award winning.” These are wonderful accomplishments of course, but the values of these actors, artists, and the work they produced should not be determined by an award.  

Doesn’t it feel like the entertainment industry is using these big titles in order to help sell movies and music the following year? People are more likely to go see a movie if they know the director is an Academy Award winner. It’s also frustrating that new names rarely pop up in these conversations. It’s no secret that Quentin Tarantino can make a great movie and lots of folks have realized that Billie Eilish has a wonderful voice, but what about those talented people that might not have a way to show their talent off? Award shows seem to keep up the illusion that talent is rare. That isn’t the case; anyone can make a beautiful piece of art worthy of awards, not just big-time directors with millions of dollars to spend on sets. 

The problem with award shows tends to be that many creatives are shut out simply because they lack the funding to promote their work to the judging or voting bodies. It can take millions of dollars to run an effective marketing campaign, which could ultimately end in disappointment. That shouldn’t be what artists focus on, they should instead be constantly striving to make art.

There are millions of talented people in the world, creating beautiful pieces of work every day without the promise of any awards. These shows are a way for rich celebrities to flaunt the accomplishments that most people already know they have.  

They’re incentives for artists to create

Opinion by Frankie Spiller

Awards season comes around the beginning of every year, giving musicians and filmmakers an end-of-the-year deadline to create something award-worthy. While many feel as though award shows are nothing more than popularity contests that reward the media that made the most money, this is untrue for many reasons. 

Award shows bring out the best of media and reward the most thoughtful members of the artistic community. The Oscars have come and gone, many films being recognized for their outstanding production design, cinematography, and musical score. While there are films that received less recognition than many feel they deserved, the fact is that not every amazing film can be recognized in such a short amount of time. 

People cheer when their favorite films are nominated and boo when they are not, which creates a public buzz around that film either way. This means that, even if the film is not awarded in the show, it still gains recognition because of that award show. 

The Grammys made many voice their opinions on their favorite songs, genres, and artists from the past year. This demonstrates that award shows generate an active audience participation with the form of art they favor. Not only does this give the creators the recognition they deserve, but also allows their audience to find the deeper meanings within their work. Recognition from a major name can help artists broaden their audience. It’s not at all uncommon for art to receive more attention after winning awards, whether that be through box office ticket sales, album streams online, or exhibition attendees. 

Award shows not only reward the creators through recognition, but also the audience because the creators strive to create something with more meaning and of higher quality. Without shows like The Golden Globes or The Oscars, no one would feel the same motivation to make ‘good’ pieces of art. 

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