Views | Oscar nominations have repeatedly been criticized, blockchain may change the status quo

This year's film awards season is finally over, but unfortunately, looking back over the past few weeks, we have found that the diversity issue of BAFTA and Oscars nominations still exists.


Despite advocating tolerance after the boycott of Oscars SoWhite in 2015, it has caused a huge uproar in the entertainment industry because of the 20 actor nominations, only a black actor named Cynthia Erivo who plays Harriet . It is worth noting that Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has also been nominated, but according to Hollywood standards, he is not considered a person of color. The 2020 Academy Awards were also nominated for any female director.

Blockchain.News and other platforms have recently published articles promoting the application of blockchain technology to voting systems to increase their transparency and trust. We received questions from readers asking if they could be applied to the Oscar nomination system.

After understanding how Oscar nominated: the answer is short and yes, blockchain technology can indeed be used to enhance this process, but unfortunately, people may not like this way.

How nominations are generated

Before we discuss how blockchain can improve the Oscar nomination system, we need to see how it works. Let's summarize the complicated process of deciding whether a film or performer can be nominated.

The voting process for Oscar nominations involved more than 8,000 Oscar members, as well as hundreds of qualified films, performers, and production talent. The easiest way to get Oscar membership is to have been previously nominated, but those who meet the criteria can also apply-the criteria are based on the history and qualifications of the department, or nominated by existing members.

Members will vote in 25 specific categories, for example, only directors can vote for best director nominations, only actors can vote for best actors, etc. Of course, all members can vote for the best videos.

Ballots are distributed to voting members who can rank five nominees in their respective categories based on their personal preferences.

After the vote, the ballots are sent to accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (PwC has been in charge of mailing and tabulation for more than 80 years). PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will find that magic number, the number of votes that automatically turns potential nominees into formal nominees in each category.

To determine this magical number, PricewaterhouseCoopers divided the total number of votes received for a particular category by the total number of potential nominees plus one. As explained by MentalFloss, "A simple example is dividing the potential votes for the 600 Best Actor category by 6 (5 possible nominees plus 1), thus making The magic number of 100 category votes became a formal nominee. "

During this estimated 1,700-hour process, the counting of votes was still done manually and started counting based on the voters' first choice until someone reached that magical number. For example, if Brad Pitt's performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood reaches that magical number first, then all the votes that rank him as the first choice will be all She was put on hold, leaving only four places for the best actor.

The actor with the least number of votes will be automatically eliminated, and these votes will be redistributed based on the choice of the second place (although the actors who are still running retain their votes calculated in the first round). Counting continues, and actors or other categories of actors get redistributed votes until all five positions are filled.

Blockchain represents coordination, not diversity

In the above nomination process, the most obvious aspect that blockchain technology can strengthen is the coordination work done by PwC.

As mentioned above, the nomination process takes about 1700 hours at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and of course the cost is borne by the Academy. PwC is actually the secret star of the show, and they put in most of their work. If the Academy adopted a voting system that uses blockchain technology, they would not even need to be involved.

PricewaterhouseCoopers uses traditional auditing methods to handle the tabulation of ballot papers. This requires confirmation of the ballot papers on its accounting ledger and sorting of preferences at the end of the tabulation period. As mentioned above, PwC still calculates by hand, which is not only time consuming but also can lead to human error and requires everyone to believe that they are calculating the data fairly. We hereby declare that Blockchain.News respects the integrity of PricewaterhouseCoopers, but we just want to say that no one will recount votes, and no one will verify the claims of the Big Four accounting firms.

In theory, blockchain technology solves almost all problems, it can provide immutable transaction records immediately, and the automatic process can determine the ranking of nominations again instantly.

An article published on Medium states that "Because of its distributed ledger technology, blockchain technology eliminates the need to enter accounting information into multiple databases and also eliminates the need for auditors to coordinate different ledgers, thereby saving a lot of money Time and greatly reduces the risk of human error. "


Go one step further

As mentioned in the introduction, after the 2015 Oscars SoWhite movement, there was a force for inclusiveness. The movement's initiator, April Reign, believes that although the situation has changed somewhat, the pace of change is not fast enough. She said: "When I launched OscarsSoWhite in 2015, Oscar members were 92% white and 75% male. Now Oscar has improved these numbers slightly, and now its membership is 84% ​​white And 68% men. So it was not a surprise yesterday. When I saw these nominations, I was disappointed because so many talented filmmakers could not get the recognition and recognition of their peers. "

Spike Lee also criticized the lack of diversity in the nomination in an interview with the BBC. He mainly discussed streaming services in the interview. He said that although the small players are constantly changing, the gatekeepers remain the same and hinder inclusion.

Although I can provide a series of reasons to explain why they feel this way, I am neither qualified nor want to delve into the chaos of cross diversity that is proud of the words of most Hollywood stars rather than their actions. While there are good reasons to support diversity and inclusion, unfortunately, there is ample evidence that most people in Hollywood have a very radical, far-left view of the world and are often too sober.

It is also important that there are only so many vacancies for nominations, and that the Academy as an institution does not really do anything-voting rights are nothing more than the personal tastes and preferences of this awakened group. average value. In fact, it was also the fault of the directors, because no women were nominated for their votes, and only one qualified black actor was nominated.

Final recommendation: Without a fully equal representative of each race and gender, nominations will remain unfair. At this point, however, the real problem seems to be that, although the actions of diversification have succeeded in increasing the representation of minorities, the results of the polls are not relevant to the way that Hollywood social science students think.

How can blockchain be used here without further discussing whether Hollywood's expectations are realistic? Using the blockchain, you can track and disclose the voting habits of each member and know exactly who they nominate. Although this will make elections transparent, it will also plunge voters into a routine Hollywood political persecution, which may unconsciously affect voting and lead people to vote for films that best embody the spirit of the current political era. This is not a real solution, because which films are nominated is the culmination of a very subjective view of a very subjective art form, and given the lack of restraint Hollywood has shown on real-world issues, these issues are too It is complex and cannot be summed up in one sentence, which will make voters face a world of subjective criticism.