With new category, Oscars are now a popularity contest

  • In this Feb. 26, 2017 file photo, Oscar statuettes appear backstage at the Oscars in Los Angeles. When the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced changes to next year’s Oscars broadcast, including the controversial creation of a “popular film” category, it prompted a host of questions about what this means for the world’s biggest awards show. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK — Not since Faye Dunaway shouted “La La Land!” has an Oscar announcement caused quite as much chaos as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to create a new Academy Awards category for “outstanding achievement in popular film.”

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