NEW YORK (AP) — Not since Faye Dunaway shouted “La La Land!” has an Oscar announcement caused quite as much chaos as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to create a new Academy Awards category for “outstanding achievement in popular film.”

The film academy’s surprise announcement Wednesday proved remarkably unpopular, at least among film critics and some academy members. Actor Rob Lowe pronounced the Oscars dead, “survived by sequels, tent-poles and vertical integration.”

The other new changes were met with a mix of praise and grumbling. Many applauded the dramatic move up the calendar to February 9 in 2020. Perhaps inevitable was the move to shrink the broadcast to three hours and remove some categories from the live telecast.

But Hollywood now finds itself contemplating a very awkward popularity contest.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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