Controversy And Low Ratings, The Curtains Begin To Close On Awards Shows

From Academy Awards hosting contention, to artists happily snubbing the GRAMMYs -- have these glitzy ceremonies run their course?

After Ariana Grande blasted GRAMMYs producer Ken Ehrlich for "lying" about her not performing at Sunday's show, Sharon Osbourne leaped to her defense.

The Talk co-host tweeted "dinosaurs" ran the Recording Academy, after Grande initially claimed her "creativity and self expression" were being stifled.

Grande called Ehrlich out after he told The Associated Press the artist couldn't “pull something together” in time for music's biggest night.

Nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance for “God Is a Woman” and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener, Grande explained her decision not to perform nor attend the GRAMMYs this year.

Fellow pop star Lorde made a similar resolution in 2018 after she wasn’t offered a solo performance, like fellow (male) Album Of The Year nominees.

Last year's televised event had six million less viewers than the previous year.

In addition to Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Drake -- huge drawcards, all snubbed by the GRAMMYs -- have also refused to play this year.

In response, Ehrlich recently told The New York Times the artists simply “declined to comment on whether they would attend the show".

Over in film and TV land, Academy Awards producers have reportedly braced themselves for declining numbers due to this year's hosting controversy and a general lack of audience interest.

READ MORE: Jerry Seinfeld Has Weighed In On The Kevin Hart Oscars Debate

READ MORE: Alicia Keys Reveals She's Hosting The Grammy Awards

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart pulled out from his "dream hosting gig" after producers asked him to apologise for past tweets with homophobic views.

Less than two weeks away from the Oscars ceremony, ABC President Kerry Burke confirmed the show will have no host for the first time in 30 years.

“Producers decided to not have a host and to go back to having presenters being stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours,” she  told reporters during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame, shared his disappointment at this year's broadcast having only two performances from five nominated numbers.

Critics, including director Gina Prince-Bythewood, are also dismayed about awards like Best Cinematography being awarded during commercial breaks.

Other big-name award shows have suffered similar fates, with last year's Emmy Awards officially the least-watched ceremony on record.

There's also the ongoing cultural arguments for both ceremonies: hip-hop being regularly shunned at the GRAMMYs, and lack of diversity at the Oscars.

The Golden Globes, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards and MTV Awards viewership numbers were also all down at last count.

The only award show with increased ratings in the past 12 months was Broadway's Tony Awards (set for June this year), which drew 6.3 million viewers on CBS.

Back home, in 2018 the Logies attracted an average 851,000 metropolitan viewers. The numbers were down on 2017's 972,000 and 2016’s 1.12 million.

Kevin Hart pulled out of the Oscars -- his "dream hosting gig" -- after producers asked him to apologise for past tweets with homophobic views. Image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty.

This year's Academy Awards and GRAMMYs have a handful of highlights, including a superhero movie like Black Panther up for Best Picture and the late Mac Miller's parents attending the GRAMMYs in case he wins Best Rap Album.

READ MORE: Mac Miller's Cause Of Death Has Been Determined

The saving grace of award shows might be social media platforms like Twitter, where a huge contingent of fans flock to share opinions in real time.

"For social media, the Oscars and the Golden Globes, certainly, are giant piñatas," television critic Mary McNamara told CNN.

"We whack away and send mean tweets and are hilariously funny and wicked."

When asked why he won't host televised award shows anymore, Chris Rock argued their growing "PC" direction wasn't suitable for comedians anymore.

"If it was five years ago, I could say something really offensive and funny. I can't do that anymore," he said at last year's NY Film Critics Circle Awards.

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