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Academy Awards viewership down 'significantly' from last year, Variety says

Jimmy Kimmel is leading a group of Hollywood stars who are going after the NRA. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Academy Awards viewership was down "significantly" from last year's broadcast, Variety reported, citing preliminary Nielsen ratings.

The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC’s broadcast was down about 16 percent — an 18.9 rating and 32 share for about 70 percent of U.S. TV households — from 2017's numbers, the outlet said. Last year the breakdown was a 22.5 rating and 37 share, Variety said.

Could the numbers change?

Preliminary ratings aren't adjusted for time zone differences, the outlet said, and West Coast viewership isn't accurately reflected in the overnight numbers — and they also don't include viewership for the Oscars' final 48 minutes after 11 p.m. when the biggest awards were handed out.

But while more complete ratings for the full broadcast will be available later Monday, Variety noted that overnights "give a glimpse of the baseline turnout" for the program.

What were the numbers in previous years?

According to Deadline, the 2017 Oscars were down 4 percent in viewership compared to 2016 — and the 2016 show was down 8 percent from the 2015 broadcast. Deadline noted "a distinct pattern of several years of downward movement for the Oscars."

Left-wing politics, anyone?

Hollywood award ceremonies like the Oscars have long served as sociopolitical platforms for celebrities to publicly espouse left-wing points of view — and it's a sentiment not everyone appreciates.

Of course, the 2018 Oscars were replete with left-wing politics.

To kick things off were sightings of various pins — such as the "Time's up" black and white pin, as well as the orange anti-gun violence pin, CNN said.

Host Jimmy Kimmel — who MC'd the shindig last year and has made politics a central aspect of his late-night TV show — took shots at Vice President Mike Pence, Fox News, just-departed White House communications director Hope Hicks and, not surprisingly, President Donald Trump.

"There's Chadwick Boseman," Kimmel said over footage of the "Black Panther" actor, CNN said. "The king of Wakanda! Imagine that! A country with a black leader. Wouldn't that be swell?"

Illegal immigration also was a prime topic for several celebrities.

"Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home we are dreamers," Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who is from Kenya, said, CNN reported. "We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America."

After Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro won best director for "The Shape of Water," the network said he told the crowd: "I am an immigrant. In the last 25 years, I've been living in a country all of our own. The greatest thing our industry does is to erase lines in the sand. We should continue to do that."

During a performance of the song "Stand Up for Something," numerous activists — such as Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards — stood on the stage.

Others included representatives from Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Dolores Huerta Foundation and United Farm Workers of America, #GirlsLikeUs and #MeToo, CNN added.

Common, one of the song's performers, also rapped a line about God and the National Rifle Association. The organization has been under intense fire since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school last month:

(H/T: Mediaite)

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