The Oscars Want to Be the Met Gala. Is That Even Possible?
What Anna did to build the Met Gala may not be replicable. But that doesn't mean the Oscars are hopeless.
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The film Academy that hands out Oscars held a meeting recently to discuss, among other goals, reviving the annual awards ceremony. Matthew Belloni from Puck News obtained slides from the presentation, made by Academy C.E.O. Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang, including one with an eight-part plan to revive the show. It read: “We need to return the Oscars to a position of power and importance by… Making the red carpet an event — on the scale of the Met Gala or Cannes.” (Other bullets emphasized things like “[h]iring producing teams with live TV experience” and “[c]reating an emotional investment in the nominees.” No kidding.)
That the Oscars is now striving to be the Met Gala is rather extraordinary. The Met Gala used to strive to be the Oscars, and was for many years called “the Oscars of the East Coast,” denoting that the Oscars led and the Met Gala followed. However, as I noted in my Oscars red carpet coverage this year, the Gala’s old moniker is no longer appropriate. The Met Gala red carpet has for at least a few years now superseded the Oscars in terms of cultural significance. It is, hands down, the Super Bowl of red carpets. This was obvious even at this year’s “Gilded Glamour”-themed Met Gala, where the biggest headliner was Kim Kardashian allegedly destroying Marilyn Monroe’s historic dress. And the next biggest group of headliners was arguably all the Kardashian-Jenners attending together for the first time. (Past headliners like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Zendaya did not go this year.)
I’m not entirely sure it’s possible for the Oscars to become more important than, or even as important as, the Met Gala (which arguably doesn’t even compare to Cannes — so if the Oscars just wants to be Cannes, that seems like a pretty weak position to be in). But they can certainly improve the red carpet, and take notes from the Met to do it.
To understand why the Oscars will have an exceedingly hard time replicating the Gala, one has to understand how the Gala became the mega celebrity fashion event it is.
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