It really isn't exaggeration or hyperbole to say that this year's Oscars has been one of the most controversial in years.
From the fact it lost its host to historic tweets involving alleged homophobic remarks, to the debacle over the Oscar songs, the 91st Academy Awards is shaping up to be a complete sh*t-show - and the thing hasn't even started yet.
Here's where it all began.
TRYING TO BRING IN BEST POPULAR FILM AS A CATEGORY
This almost seems like a distant memory at this stage, but back in August of last year, the organisers of this year's Oscars tried to launch a brand-new category - Best Popular Film. To say that it was greeted with hostility is an understatement. The level of hatred for the idea was universal, and in less than a month, the entire category was scrapped.
Why do it, you ask? Simple, really. Ratings. Ratings and the fact that the producers of the Oscars are trying to entice a decreasingly receptive audience who either haven't seen or don't care about the movies nominated for Best Picture. The solution? Bring in movies like 'Black Panther' and 'A Quiet Place' and have them battle it out against one another.
The idea wasn't so much stupid as it was breathtakingly insulting to all concerned. The smaller movies such as 'The Favourite' and 'Vice' are seen as somehow more worthy than smaller movies like 'The Favourite', and couple that with a belief that it creates a two-tier system, and it's just a mess.
NOMINATING 'BLACK PANTHER' AND 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY' FOR BEST PICTURE
There's an entire article dedicated to the snubs at this year's Oscars, but the fact that 'Black Panther' was nominated and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was also in the running was met with derision in a few corners. For one, 'Black Panther' was the out-and-out expected winner of the ill-fated Best Popular Film Category, so seeing it nominated for Best Picture meant... well, it wasn't going to win Best Picture.
'Bohemian Rhapsody', however, was much more complex. Bryan Singer, who's currently facing renewed accusations of sexual abuse from two men, is listed as an executive producer and credited director - even though he was replaced by Dexter Fletcher. Not only that, the GLAAD Awards specifically removed 'Bohemian Rhapsody' from its category, and Bryan Singer's name was never mentioned in any of the subsequent award wins.
LOSING KEVIN HART AS HOST
Kevin Hart was first announced as host of this year's Oscars on December 4th. In less than two days - TWO DAYS - he had withdrawn from the job, citing the fact that the controversy surrounding past comments he made about the LGBT community was "a distraction" to the ceremony.
Shortly thereafter, Hart publicly stated that he was reconsidering his position following an interview on 'Ellen' where the comedian and two-time Oscars host implored him to take up the role again. Chris Rock, Seth MacFarlane, Jimmy Kimmel and just about anyone you'd think could host refused to take up the role.
In the end, the Oscars goes ahead without a host - the first time in 30 years.
THE BEST ORIGINAL SONG EXCLUSIONS
This year's producers for the Oscars have declared that the entire ceremony will run at three hours flat, and won't tolerate anything remotely outside of this. The first effort to have this hard runtime enforced was by excluding all but two songs - Kendrick Lamar and SZA's 'All The Stars', and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's 'Shallow' - would be performed.
How long did this plan last? Just six days.
EXCLUDING FOUR CATEGORIES FROM THE LIVE BROADCAST
Again, the producers' utter determination to keep it at a three-hour runtime caused them to come up with another idea. This one, however, was particularly hair-brained. Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Live Action Short, and Best Makeup & Hairstyling were to be awarded during the commercial breaks, with the awarding broadcast later in the show.
How bad was the backlash to this idea, you ask? An open letter, decrying the decision, was signed by (deep-breath) Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Quentin Tarantino, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Spike Lee, Seth Rogen, Dee Rees, Ang Lee, Janty Yates, Wally Pfister, Hoyte van Hotema, Roger Deakins, Rachel Morrison, Reed Morano and about 100 more.
How long did this plan last? Four days.
Whether the actual ceremony itself ends up being as drama-filled as the infamous 'Moonlight' / 'La La Land' debacle, or if it's going to be much worse, remains to be seen.
Right now, the Academy simply has to get through this weekend. Come the morning after, there probably needs to be some hard questions about the future of the Oscars - and whether it needs to continue in its current guise.