Picture it: You’re watching the Oscars, basking in the glow of the beautiful famous faces, soaking up Beyoncé’s show-stopping performance and rooting for Ariana DeBose to win Best Supporting Actress, when all of a sudden, the show’s interrupted for a very important cut away to... the Flash entering the speed force in Zach Snyder’s Justice League? Is the Oscars high?
It turns out that that bizarre “Oscars Cheer Moment” segment was part of the Academy Awards’ ongoing and increasingly desperate bid for mass-market relevance in a world where only superhero movies earn the truly big bucks.
In 2019, the Academy was reeling from historic ratings lows (if only they’d known how much worse it would get!) when it announced the addition of an Oscar for “outstanding achievement in popular film.” After everyone pointed out that the People’s Choice Awards and MTV Movie Awards have popular movies pretty well covered, the Oscars backed down and decided against the idea.
...but not entirely. This year, the Academy gave Twitter users the chance to vote for their favorite movies, using the hashtags #OscarsCheerMoment and #OscarsFanFavorite. Everyone knows what a fan favorite is, I guess, but what exactly is a “cheer moment?” And does this mean that Justice League is an Oscar-winning film?
It turns out that, according to the LA Times, a cheer moment is a scene that “spurred audiences to burst into cheers in theaters,” and the Academy’s decision to base a whole fake award around this experience seems designed to get us misty-eyed about the theater viewing experience so that we get off the couch and head back to the multiplex.
Apparently, the good people of Twitter picked the Flash’s big moment as the winner. Zach Snyder has an army of digital fanboys, so it’s not surprising that his movie won the Twitter vote. And no, this is not a real Oscar, so you do not have to refer to call it “the Academy Award-winner, Justice League” going forward.