Adding transparency to Oscars could attract viewers

The Oscars aired last Sunday with Hugh Jackman playing host, singer, dancer, and overall entertainer of the night.

Even with his amusing antics, the show proceeded in a very orderly fashion with much more organization than the Golden Globes. Perhaps the Academy saw that debacle in January and decided the Oscars would do a better job by hiring a director for their ceremony for the first time.

This simple change to the format of the long-standing awards show led to a much cleaner-run show. Just as this change positively affected the show, we believe that there is another change that the Academy should put into place as well.

With Slumdog Millionaire raking in a grand total of eight Oscars, we can’t help but wonder if any of the other films in consideration even made it close to winning an award.

We think the Academy should take after the Obama administration and give viewers a little transparency — when a winner is announced in a category, the other four nominated films could be displayed, in order of number of votes. Or even better, the exact number of votes for each movie could be shown, rather than just ranking them.

This transparency in the voting for the Oscars would fix a number of misconceptions people have about the award show. While the Academy is composed of over 6000 members who are involved in the process of selecting Oscar nominees and winners, they sometimes come off as a very exclusive, selective board of people who choose movies that they like to watch and give them awards.

Just as statistics saturated computer and television screens during this past election season, they could also bring a welcome source of transparency and insight to the Oscars, a process historically shrouded in elitist secrecy.