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Oscars move to honor ‘popular’ movies sparks swift backlash

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The Oscars will introduce a new award for popular films and the annual ceremony will be limited to three hours, organizers said on Wednesday, in a bid to stave off slumping audiences for the movie industry’s most prestigious honors.

The decision to create a special category for popular films sparked an immediate backlash, with one critic saying it smacked of desperation.

The sweeping changes also include handing out some of the 24 Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the Feb. 24 broadcast on Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) ABC network.

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“We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide,” the board of governors at the Academy of Motion Pictures said in a letter to members.

The U.S. television audience for the almost four-hour Oscar ceremony in March 2018 was 26.5 million viewers, the smallest in awards’ 90-year history. The telecast is an important showcase for the film industry, and nominated movies typically attract a new wave of ticket buyers.

“The accidental implication is here’s the award for popular film, and here’s the unpopular films,” said Alison Willmore, critic and culture writer for Buzzfeed News.

The changes are the biggest since the Academy in 2016 pledged to double its female and minority membership by 2020 in response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of its nominees.

In 2009, it expanded the number of best picture nominees from five to 10 in a bid to open up the competition.

Yet in recent years, the Oscars have tended to honor art house fare and performers, like best picture winners “Moonlight” and “The Shape of Water,” for its biggest prizes rather than box office hits like the “Star Wars” franchise or superhero movies such as 2017 blockbuster “Wonder Woman.”

Fans of this year’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” from Disney’s Marvel Studios, have been arguing that it deserves a best picture nomination.

Wednesday’s letter did not give details of the new category recognizing “achievement in popular film,” saying those would come later, but critics on Twitter said it seemed to create a second-tier honor and mocked it as “the Black Panther award.”

“This is desperation,” wrote Kristopher Tapley, awards editor for Hollywood trade publication Variety. “Here comes the Academy, establishing a corner to which voters can banish (Black Panther) and other films like it with a pat on the head and a “‘thanks for playing.’”

The Academy could have waited to see the impact on the best picture race from its push to diversify its membership, Willmore said.

“There’s a lot of reasons to believe that would have shaken up the hidebound ideas of what an Oscar movie is,” she said.

The Academy said it will trim the duration of the Oscars ceremony by handing out some awards during commercial breaks. Organizers did not say which of the 24 awards, which honor everything from acting to sound editing and short films, would be shifted.

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton to host the Great American Baking Show

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton is the new presenter of the US version of The Great British Bake Off.



The Great American Baking Show will return to TV in the US later this year with Paul Hollywood returning as judge.

Baby Spice said it was her “dream job. Christmas time, eating cake and having such a brilliant time with Spice, Sherry and Paul.”

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Sherry Yard will join as a judge and Bunton will co-host with American footballer Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams.

Bunton revealed on her Heart Radio show that she has already started filming for the show – and was very excited.

“Just being in the famous tent – honestly it took me a week to get used to being in the tent,” she said.

Bunton added that working with Hollywood was “great fun”.

“I had lots of fun with Paul. He’s got a great sense of humour. I did watch out for him [though, as] he can be trouble. He’s got those eyes. Don’t look in his eyes!”

The Great American Baking Show was pulled off air last year after allegations of sexual harassment surrounding judge Johnny Iuzzini.

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CardiB says Nicki sleeps around, set to release diss track

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Cardi B in an Instagram conversation with a fan called her rival, Nicki Minaj a ‘thot’ that makes out with everybody.

This conversation came up after Quavo who is in the same music group with Cardi B’s husband, Offset claimed he slept with Nicki Minaj on ‘Huncho Dreams’ a song on his new album, Quavo Huncho.

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In the screenshot of the conversation between Cardi B and the fan obtained by MTO the rapper called her a b**ch and vowed to outsell her album.

She also mocked Nicki after Quavo claimed in his song that he slept her. Cardi wrote: “That’s why Quavo outed her thot a** out. She be f****** Everybody.”

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Meanwhile, report says Cardi is ready to release a diss track.

According to unconfirmed report, Cardi has recorded new music with lyrics that go in on Nicki—but the thing is, her team’s reportedly “divided” about whether or not lyrics on the track should even see the light of day. That’s how intense they are.

Also some people on Cardi’s team feel “the lyrics would actually benefit Nicki by putting the spotlight on her,” and that “she’s already eclipsed Nicki,” so therefore it’s probably best to pretend she doesn’t even exist.

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