The initial announcement was met with widespread condemnation, but it seems that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have done a 180-turn on their decision to introduce a new category at next year's Oscars.
The Academy had intended to bring a new 'Outstanding Popular Film' category into the ceremony, but now it seems that they have reversed plans to do so - at least this year. Mark Wahlberg won't be happy.
Its president Dawn Hudson revealed the news in a statement that claimed the category 'merits further study', adding that "There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members. We have made changes to the Oscars over the years–including this year – and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”
Part of the criticism - aside from the fact that the new category was seen by many as 'dumbing down' the Academy Awards in general - came from the fact that not every film released this year would be eligible.. “The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released," the statement added.
Other changes mooted for the 2020 ceremony, however, include the shortening of the telecast (with some awards presented during the ad breaks) and moving the ceremony forward to early February.