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Oscars so safe

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It must be said that the 95th Annual Academy Awards were doomed to be a letdown before they ever started. After all, last year’s ceremony included a physical assault on a presenter by an A-lister – who then proceeded to win the Best Actor award!

Even by rewarding an indie underdog for becoming a populist hit by giving it a record-setting sweep of the major categories, how could this year’s Oscar broadcast hope to top that?

Snarky digs aside, the Academy had already squandered a lot of its good will by announcing a slate of nominees that seemed a step backward in its recent efforts toward diversity.

While 2022’s honors included overdue recognition for Asian American talent, the notable shortage of people of color or LGBTQ individuals among the nominees had already led many observers to write off this year’s Oscars as just another backsliding return to the all-too-familiar status quo; and when the broadcast itself finally happened, the Jimmy Kimmel-led ceremony played it so safe that the proceedings seemed dull even in comparison to other Oscar shows – and as anyone who’s ever watched one will certainly attest, that’s saying a lot.

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