March 24, 2022

The Oscars: Betting on the Elite Glamor

Plus: the money behind the Academy

Nora and Scott chat with Kyle Buchanan, also known as The Projectionist, the awards season columnist at The New York Times. They break down all things showbiz ahead of the Oscars on Sunday, including the Academy’s response to declining viewership, the business model behind the telecast and the future of awards shows.

Hosts: Nora Ali & Scott Rogowsky
Producer: Bella Hutchins
Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus
Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder
Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop
Director of Audio: Alan Haburchak
VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer

Full transcript for this episode below


Kyle Buchanan: These things seem like no-brainer ideas. And sometimes I wonder, do they have a brain? Why don't they understand this? And you just hear about the levels of bureaucratic red tape within the Academy. But, come on, I think everyone can get on the same page about this, if it's such a important thing to get those A-list presences there, to get those comic book stars there, there's easier ways to go about it. You just have to be earlier.

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that reveals the unexpected business story behind everything. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you conversations with creators, thinkers, and innovators who can tell us what it all means and why we should care. Now, let's get down to business.

Scott Rogowsky: We're talking movies today. Yay.

Nora Ali: Your favorite topic.

Scott Rogowsky: I love the motion picture industry.

Nora Ali: Yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, maybe not the industry.

Nora Ali: Right. Right.

Scott Rogowsky: As we get into, because the industry's fraught with... What's going on Nora? What are the issues here? We got diversity issues, right? We've got bribery issues going on with the Golden Globes.

Nora Ali: Lots of investigations and allegations and a lot of shenanigans going on for sure.

Scott Rogowsky: We've got far too much money being spent on these campaigns. Think about what could be done for these PR campaigns for movies, all the hospitals that could be built, the bridges that could be fixed, right?

Nora Ali: The infrastructure, man.

Scott Rogowsky: Infrastructure.

Nora Ali: Do you watch award shows? Do you watch the Oscars? Is it something you tune into?

Scott Rogowsky: Honestly, I'm probably indicative of the problem of the trend because, of course, and you can speak for yourself, but growing up, I watched all these award shows.

Nora Ali: Yeah. Same.

Scott Rogowsky: Every year, it was a big event, family got together. We knew all the movies. There was so much discussion because there was much more of a mono-culture, right?

Nora Ali: Bingo cards. We made bets. It was a whole thing.

Scott Rogowsky: Yes. Yes. And now I couldn't even tell... Nora, do you even know what movies are nominated this year?

Nora Ali: I could not.

Scott Rogowsky: Let’s see if we can name, let's see. Here's what I've heard. I haven't seen any of these, but I've just heard about movies like Power of the Dog. Is that a movie?

Nora Ali: That is a movie. Yes. I have not seen it.

Scott Rogowsky: Hot Dog The Movie? There's Belfast, right? Don't know what that's about.

Nora Ali: Licorice Pizza

Scott Rogowsky: Okay, that one I saw. Is that nominated?

Nora Ali: It is.

Scott Rogowsky: I don't want to get into that. I thought it stunk and I love Paul Thomas Anderson. I thought it was a total bummer.

Nora Ali: Pretty sure Don't Look Up is nominated.

Scott Rogowsky: Is it?

Nora Ali: Which I did see with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Scott Rogowsky: Also didn't think that was very good.

Nora Ali: Oh, I loved it. Yeah. I mean it's so different now than it was when we were kids where we all knew exactly who was nominated. We all tuned in for the big blockbusters and the big stars.

Scott Rogowsky: And the big hosts.

Nora Ali: The big hosts. A lot of issues with viewership and relevancy, but just in time for viewing on Sunday, we are talking all about the Oscars, the response to its slowly declining viewership, as we mentioned, the business model behind it, even, and the future of award shows. Kyle Buchanan, who serves as The Projectionist, the award season columnist at the New York Times, is joining us today to tell us all about it and even offer his own suggestions for improvement.

Scott Rogowsky: What a time to be The Projectionist, huh?

Kyle Buchanan: Yeah. A very, very weird time. I can always count on awards season to throw some curveballs and this season is absolutely delivering on that front.

Nora Ali: Well, awards show are trying so many different things now because it seems like it's perhaps hard to maintain relevancy and maintain that viewership. So let's talk the Oscars specifically. In 2021 viewership of the Oscars hit a new low with 56% fewer people watching than the year before, that's according to CNBC. What do you think, Kyle, are the factors causing this drastic decline in viewership of the Oscars?

Kyle Buchanan: I think any real linear TV is experiencing a whole lot of ratings erosion. There's very few things on television these days, even major television shows like This Is Us that have not lost a lot of ratings over of the years. And I think that most people understand that and the Oscars don't seem to. I think that people consume the Oscars differently. They're not necessarily watching them in one fell swoop as they air, but they're absolutely paying attention to them when clips go viral on social media or people are live tweeting them. And I think ultimately that's the difficult thing for ABC, the broadcast network that puts the Oscars out every year and will be continuing to do that until 2028. It's hard for them to realize, yeah, okay, listen, part of the impact of this ceremony is going to be different these days. I do think people are still totally interested in the Oscars. A tweet about the Oscars can go viral in a way that nobody really cares about the Emmy Best Director race. So I think people are still paying attention. They just consume media differently.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. And this is a problem affecting Emmys, Grammy broadcast, pretty much every television and broadcast, Olympics have all been down. CNBC also reported that last year's show received a 2.12 rating among adults 18 to 49. That's around 2 million adults in that key demo, which is a 60% drop from the year before. So is it a matter of viewers aging out, younger people not watching TV? Is that what it is? And it's not specific to the Academy Awards, or is something specifically about this award show?

Kyle Buchanan: I think younger people have cut the cord in a lot of ways. They're not necessarily watching linear broadcast television. There's been a lot of speculation about maybe when the ABC contract is up, that a streaming service might buy it and that could potentially reinvigorate the Oscars. But it's an interesting thing. ABC and the Oscars have their annual freak-out about maybe these movies are too esoteric. What can we do to get some more major blockbusters or some presence of more popular movies onto the telecast? And I get it and I also think it's an overreaction. I think the fact that the Oscars are so esoteric and so hard to get are kind of what is appealing to people. You wouldn't normally have tweets about what the actor Sam Elliott thinks about a drama, like Power Of The Dog doing as well as they are if people weren't interested in this horse race in some way that goes even well beyond interest in the Emmys and the Grammys. Grammys have the biggest performers in the world performing at them, the Emmys honor things like Modern Family, Game Of Thrones, some of the biggest shows on television. Guess what? They don't get the rating that the Oscars do. Even when the Oscars are awarding films that maybe not everybody has seen, there's an interest there. There's the feeling that this is Hollywood's highest honor. And I think a lot of people do tune in or pay at least some attention to it because they want to know, they want to use the Oscars almost as a guide. What should I be watching? What should I be paying attention to? And the more the Oscars apologize for themselves and radiate this abashed feeling, I think the more they fritter away what is actually the most powerful thing they've got in their arsenal, which is that tastemaking vibe.

Nora Ali: It sounds like maybe some of the changes the Oscars and the Academy have made don't align with the biggest fans of the Oscars, or maybe you don't think they're making the best decisions at this point, but you did write about this in your piece called, "The Oscars Popularity Contest." And you wrote about the extreme makeover that the Oscars is going through this year. What are some of the biggest changes and are they good or bad?

Kyle Buchanan: There's some pretty significant ones. Usually the Oscars would broadcast every single category. This year, there are eight of them that they're going to present before the live telecast starts. And what they're saying is that they will seamlessly integrate the acceptance speeches into the later broadcast. I call bull on that. I mean, come on, we know that those are going to be chopped down within an inch of their lives. We know it's going to be an ongoing controversy that they're stepping in themselves. And what they're doing, what they're trying to do, is take categories like the short films, cinematography, sound, hair and makeup, things that they don't think people are interested in because they don't result in a big movie star taking the stage to accept something. And they're going to try to minimize those at the expense of new things that the Oscars are introducing, like a Oscar fan favorite award that you can vote on online. I think they thought that by introducing that kind of element, they'd get things like Spiderman: No Way Home into the broadcast, which was a gigantic movie hit that was not nominated for Best Picture. The result though is not exactly like that. What I think the Oscars have found is instead of the biggest movie in the world utterly dominating those proceedings, the craziest internet stan armies have instead flooded those polls. And so you're getting things like the Camila Cabello musical Cinderella in the mix, you're getting this forgotten Johnny Depp movie, Minamata, in the mix because he still has such a weird rabid fan base online. It's kind of kookiness and there is some degree to which, I mean like, listen, I want a good Oscar broadcast, but if they're going to go there, I don't mind a little bit of mess. And I think they're in for a world of mess.

Scott Rogowsky: I voted for Rango. I put Rango. If Johnny Depp is going to be representative this year, it should be for Rango.

Nora Ali: Yes. Yes.

Scott Rogowsky: Kyle, has any online poll ever gone according to plan? Every time some organization tries to reach out to the internet, they always get trolled and they ends up with some ridiculous name for a new coast guard boat or whatever they're looking to vote on. Why would they think this would work?

Kyle Buchanan: Because they're not tuned in. I mean, I think that is a large part of it. And that is a legit complaint to levy against the Academy, that maybe they're not that tuned into the internet, that maybe they regard it as something that they don't quite understand and don't know how to best utilize.

Scott Rogowsky: Not to be ageist.

Kyle Buchanan: No, no, go ahead and be ageist. I mean, I think that is a definite thing that the Academy has been criticized for, rightly so. And they've tried to diversify their membership to have it be younger, more racially diverse, more international. And I think all of those things are working, but sometimes there's a social media controversy as there was this past week when Jane Campion, the director of Power Of The Dog, said something somewhat insensitive about Venus and Serena Williams at the Critics' Choice Awards. And I've had a lot of people ask me, do you think that will affect her bid for Best Director? And the answer is not much, because again, the membership of the Academy is pretty old and doesn't quite understand the internet and probably has no idea there's a controversy at all. Probably it's going to be dealt a rude awakening when they look at the Oscar fan favorite results. And we'll just have to see how they cope with it.

Nora Ali: Let's take a very quick break. More with Kyle when we come back.


And the Oscar goes to...


Nora Ali: Kyle, you mentioned that the Oscars and the Academy have been trying to diversify, how can we forget the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite that was started by activist April Reign in 2015. And this was after the Oscars announced an all white list of 20 acting nominees. And then in 2020, which you wrote about, the Academy announced this diversity initiative, where to be made eligible for best picture, you had to meet certain criteria, both behind the scenes and on camera. Have you seen improvements? And do you think these kinds of measures are going to help with relevancy of the Oscars or it's just a little bit of lip service?

Kyle Buchanan: I think we have seen improvements. I think a Japanese film like Drive My Car, which is in the Best Picture and Best Director race this year, or a movie like Parasite, which became the first movie not in the English language to win Best Picture, those are significant advancements in what is usually a pretty insular Hollywood-driven award show. And I think it's a really overdue recognition of the fact that not only the Oscars are watched by this worldwide audience that they're always touting, but that they should reflect it. That not all of the best movies happened to star the biggest names in Hollywood and are made by Hollywood studios. That said, I don't think ABC is thrilled that these results have resulted in a slow, intimate three-hour Japanese drama making the Best Picture list. They wanted a superhero movie. But I also do think that if ABC is so determined to cram in a super-heroic presence into the Oscars, there's other ways to go about it that are maybe more palatable. Why not ask one of those Marvel superheroes to host the Oscars? I mean, ABC is under the same corporate umbrella as Marvel in the Disney stable or premier some trailers, premier the new Thor trailer during the Oscars, get people hyped in the same way that the Super Bowl took something that was considered a big debit, the amount of endless commercials, and made it actually part of the reason you tune in. I think that the Oscars haven't quite shown that initiative to turn what they perceive to be problems into solutions and the fact that they're trying to always carve the show down and chase this unattainable three-hour mark is maybe not the way. You don't see the Super Bowl limiting the amount of timeouts or cutting the national anthem down to 15 seconds. They make that largesse kind of the package. They own that about themselves. We don't see the Oscars doing that.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. And there's still going to be a three-hour broadcast. It's not as if they're trimming this down to a solid 90-minute feature length film.

Kyle Buchanan: Yeah. And it'll never get to three hours and you know what? That's fine. I think the problem is they focus too much on how short the show can be and not enough on just how good it can be. People are, if they're tuning into the Oscars, probably even watching some hours of red carpet coverage before. I think people are actually interested in the idea of dedicating their day to it, if you can make it fun and interesting and exciting. And if ABC is really worried about the show going too late, then start it earlier. I mean, the Super Bowl is in the afternoon here in Los Angeles at least. There's no reason to say that the Oscars can't start one hour earlier, if it's such a panicky problem for them.

Scott Rogowsky: A big reason people have tuned into the Oscars historically is because of the host or in this case now hosts. But for the last few years there hasn't been any host to the Oscars. They've had some cameos and intros, but this year a big this the first time that three people are hosting the Oscars?

Kyle Buchanan: It's been a little while, they used to have multiple hosts back in the day. I think the most recent example of even having more than one was Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin a couple years back. But yeah, there were three years that went by with no Oscar host. Part of that was just a matter of necessity. Kevin Hart had been hired to host the Oscars a couple years ago and then he ran into hot water because he wasn't willing to apologize for a lot of tweets and jokes that people considered to be homophobic. And you got to know your audience. I think that for a little while the Oscars were okay going without a host, because again, there was this relentless pursuit of, well, at least it trims down the show, but you know what? If you have a really good host, people tune in to see what that host is going to do. A year where 12 Years A Slave was the Best Picture winner was one of the highest rated Oscars of recent vintage. And that's mostly because it was Ellen DeGeneres at the peak of her talk show fame, hosting the Oscars. And she took that famous celebrity packed selfie. I mean, she kind of knew what she was doing. That was a good usage of the internet that actually worked for the Oscars. And I don't think that they've completely understood that. I do think it's a good thing that we'll have three hosts this year. The hosts are Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes. They're all capable. However, Oscars don't go looking for a host until really late in the year, after they've hired a producer, which they usually don't do until the fall. And I think a real mistake is to wait that long or to even have a producer on board before they get a star. Just book a star in a year in advance. If you really want an A-lister, someone like Ryan Reynolds or Dwayne Johnson, which I'm sure they would kill to get, you have to get those people early before their dance card fills up. And then if you have them for about a year, they can make the time to do it. And every time they give an interview, which they do in abundance, they'll be asked about the Oscars. They'll be promoting the Oscars. These things seem like no-brainer ideas. And sometimes I wonder, do they have a brain? Why don't they understand this? And you just hear about the levels of bureaucratic red tape within the Academy, but come on, I think everyone can get on the same page about this. If it's such an important thing to get those A-list presences there, to get those comic book stars there, there's easier ways to go about it. You just have to be earlier.

Nora Ali: It seems so obvious to your point.

Kyle Buchanan: I know.

Nora Ali: And if you're tapped in at all to social media and the cultural zeitgeist, you would know exactly who to pick for your hosts. But what do you think it'll take, Kyle, to overhaul the system? Do we need an entirely new Academy, just a whole new guard at the helm?

Kyle Buchanan: Nora, I am beating the drum every year. I am the squeakiest wheel, not to keep mixing metaphors here, but I mean, this is what I do in my column every week. I point out things that I think are fairly apparent and obvious, but you know, the Academy is a very vast group. It has about 10,000 people. There's many different branches and they all have their own governors. It's a tricky thing to get them all on the same page about anything. I think that if they really want to get those big eyeballs, make it XXL. Play to your fan base instead of alienating them and own your show, get these A-listers and do what you need to do to get those A-listers. You won't get them by apologizing for yourself. Make a play for somebody like Tom Holland and Zendaya to host it together. Or Robert Downey Jr., who hasn't been doing a whole lot since he retired as Iron Man. I think people would legitimately tune in to get to see a famous movie star who played one of the most iconic superheroes ever, who is naturally funny, fast on his feet, and would be a good host. Again, no shade to the trio hosts that they have hired, but it doesn't scream 2022. And I think that the Oscars, for all that they've done to diversify their membership and drive down their average membership age, are not as plugged into what people care about and how they care about it as I would like.

Nora Ali: The internet would break if Tom and Zendaya co hosted the Oscars.

Kyle Buchanan: That's what I'm saying. And the internet would break in a good way. Not in a Johnny Depp poll way. His fan base is coming after me now, they'll find this.

Scott Rogowsky: Wanda Sykes, Biggie Shorty from Pootie Tang, hosting the Oscars. This is a big moment. This is historical.

Kyle Buchanan: I hope she'll be announced that way.

Scott Rogowsky: Yes. You know her from License To Wed. We're going to take another quick break here with Kyle Buchanan, but more when we return. Kyle, let's get into the business behind the Oscars because this has always fascinated me, and the entire run-up to the Oscars with the nomination campaigns, the "for your considerations," all the money that is being spent, because ultimately this comes down to bucks, right? And you've got studios angling for the nominations and the awards because if their movie gets nominated even, that's going to help them. Can you just walk us through some of the financial concerns here from the studios to ABC?

Kyle Buchanan: Well, let me just start by saying Scott, Nora, whatever you think the ecosystem is around award season, double it, triple it, quadruple it. It is crazy how much goes into it, not just the supersized length, because the campaigning can go on for several months, but there really is a whole not even a cottage industry, a castle industry, that is going, chugging along every day in Los Angeles and New York where these movies screen, where there's a whole series of awards season roundtables that you do, you do tastemaker parties. It goes on for a really long time. In fact, a lot of stars and directors have it built into their contracts that if the movie gets awards season traction, they basically drop everything and spend their full-time job promoting the film. I remember once I talked to Mark Ruffalo when he was nominated for Supporting Actor for the film The Kids Are All Right. And he said, "Kyle, I spent four days shooting this movie and I spent four months promoting it for award season." So yes, there is a whole industry of people, whether it's publicists, hair and makeup people, designers, the red carpet industry, but also awards organizations that have their tentacles in a whole lot of other things that rely on this season to be up and running smoothly. And then ultimately to culminate in an Oscar ceremony that everybody is interested in because that's the thing that continues to give the momentum the next year.

Nora Ali: And as Scott said, it always comes down to the money. And one of the forms of revenue for the Academy is their deal with ABC, which expires in 2028. And you had mentioned that maybe a streamer might swoop in at that time. What are your predictions for what happens in 2028 when that deal expires?

Kyle Buchanan: Well, I'll say this, the streamers are desperate to win Best Picture. When they do that, one of those dams that has existed for a long time will have fallen and will have given the biggest example we've gotten yet of the new world order when it comes to how we consume entertainment. That said, they have not won Best Picture yet, Netflix has tried, Apple and Amazon have tried. They have good shots this year. We'll see. But if they can't make it happen simply through being honored for it, then I think they'd rather grab the ceremony. And it will be an interesting thing to see. We don't associate Netflix with live programming, although I think that push is inevitable. If something just went up all at once, would we be able to consume the show in that live tweety, communal way that I think the Oscars benefit from? ABC pays a whole lot of money for the Oscars and the Academy just opened a really pricey Academy Museum in Los Angeles and they rely on those broadcast fees to amortize those costs. So if the streaming services want to pay up for the Oscars, it's going to be a hefty paycheck.

Scott Rogowsky: Kyle, is there an award show that has done this successfully, that has cracked the formula? Is there any way to do this right?

Kyle Buchanan: I mean, it happens sometimes. Listen, plenty of entertaining and plenty of popular things make their way onto award shows. Like I said, the Emmys and the Grammys, they're not honoring obscure artists or obscure television shows. They're honoring really big things. Even WandaVision, a big Marvel show, was nominated for the Emmys. And I think that those shows are plenty entertaining when they do that. But again, I think what the Oscars need to steer into is restoring the luster of their brand, especially when they host stars that don't even seem to like that they're there, that have an open disdain for it, like Jimmy Kimmel did two years in a row. I think when you have that, when you have somebody who's apologizing right off the bat for how long the show's going to be, indicating that he's bored by it, didn't watch these move, then why are people tuning in? Again, it's creating this appearance that you're uncomfortable with the thing that you're selling. And I think sometimes you just got to sell it. People are tuning in, people are interested. I can speak for myself, but the coverage that I write in the New York Times only goes up year to year. That to me tells me that there is always going to be interest and that there may in fact be more, but that the Academy is fumbling opportunities to capitalize on it.

Nora Ali: I think we can all agree the way not to do it is what happened with the Golden Globes this year and controversy with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. So they tweeted out the awards and you had called it deeply chaotic. How do we even get to that point? And what do you expect out of the Golden Globes next year?

Kyle Buchanan: You know, the Golden Globes is a super controversy-ridden organization. They make the Oscars look like the Girl Scouts. And this year, it all came to a head or this past year, I should say, because everybody kind of knew that they were schmoozy, crafty, and problematic when it comes to how easily an award can "be bought." But also the Los Angeles Times published an investigation into the inner workings of the membership. They revealed that the group has no Black members, the Hollywood Foreign Press who votes on the Golden Globes, and suddenly a whole lot of mystifying snubs made a lot more sense. And a lot of publicity firms, in fact, almost all of the big publicity firms in Hollywood, linked arms, so to speak and said, "We're not sending our talent to your show." And without that, there is no show. That is an organization that pretty much only exists to lure celebrities. So NBC decided not to air it. And the Globes, like you said, persevered in a way that they perhaps shouldn't with a very chaotic live tweet of their own ceremony that was not televised. Emojis were picked that I would not have picked. West Side Story was called a comedy where laughter is the best medicine, which was not my reaction when I watched it. When you have all of these controversies, these publicity firms still seem to be shunning you, and when you continue to torpedo your own last remaining shreds of goodwill with that messy live tweeting, people are not going to be anxious for you to come back.

Scott Rogowsky: Maybe they should do a live trivia show during the Oscars. Maybe it's time we have our own little trivia show here. It's time for Quizness Casual, The Business Casual quiz, starring Kyle Buchanan, the Projectionist, alongside Nora Ali. You guys are ensemble casting with this one here, okay? Let's get into it. Kyle, these questions are about, wouldn't you know it, award shows, specifically the Academy Awards and maybe one that's adjacent. Without further ado, qumero numero uno: Who was the youngest Oscar winner ever? Tatum O'Neal for her role in Paper Moon, Patty Duke for her role in The Miracle Worker, Anna Paquin for her role in The Piano, or Marlee Matlin for her role in Children Of A Lesser God?

Nora Ali: Kyle, I feel like, you know this.

Kyle Buchanan: I do. I believe it is Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon.

Nora Ali: Okay. Let's lock it in.

Scott Rogowsky: Lock it in, Nora. At 10 years old, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest winner ever in a competitive category for her whiskey voice turn as Addie Pray in Paper Moon.

Kyle Buchanan: No kids nominated this year, but I got to say it is very weird when you go to these late night awards season parties and you see children. I mean, Hollywood is a weird place for children, period, but that's when you're really confronted with it.

Scott Rogowsky: Nice work there, Kyle. You're you're one for one, let's go for two, for two. Who is the most nominated male actor of all time: Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, or Paul Newman?

Kyle Buchanan: Nora, you know? What's your guess, because I think I'm I'm fairly certain I know.

Nora Ali: I don't think it's Jack Nicholson. Marlon Brando, I'm going to go with Marlon Brando. What is the answer, Kyle?

Kyle Buchanan: I believe it is Jack Nicholson.

Nora Ali: The one that I immediately said it wasn't. All right, let's do it. Jack Nicholson. Locking it in.

Scott Rogowsky: Kyle must be listening to the podcast, Nora, he knows to go against your word.

Nora Ali: Excuse me. There's been times where I've been right.

Scott Rogowsky: That's true. I know, I know. It is Jack Nicholson, most nominated male actor. He's got an even dozen Oscar nomination beginning with 1969's Easy Rider. All right. Solid work here. Are you going to sweep this show? Can you answer this last question? Who has received the record number of Razzie Awards? Golden raspberries, is it Sylvester Stallone, Paris Hilton, Eddie Murphy, or Adam Sandler?

Kyle Buchanan: I don't actually know this. However, my guess would be Sylvester Stallone, who has been working as an actor for longer, was working in the sort of 1980s heyday making not critically acclaimed films and would be exactly the sort of person that the Razzies would target.

Nora Ali: “Not critically acclaimed” is a great euphemism.

Kyle Buchanan: That's one way to put it.

Nora Ali: All right. Yeah. Let's do it, Stallone.

Scott Rogowsky: That's solid deductive reasoning here because the Golden Raspberries have been calling out the worst in movie making since 1980 and this tough guy has been nominated for three Academy Awards, let's not sell him short, but he is also the most awarded Razzie act of all time with 10 awards. Sylvester Stallone is the answer. That's right, Rocky himself.

Nora Ali: Was the answer A every time?

Scott Rogowsky: The answer was A every time. It's an A kind of day.

Nora Ali: Academy Awards.

Kyle Buchanan: I'd like to thank my agents, my manager, my hair stylist, God, maybe not in that order.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, Kyle, this has been a pleasure. Kyle Buchanan is a pop culture reporter for the New York Times where he also serves as The Projectionist, the Times award season columnist. Thanks for joining, Kyle.

Nora Ali: Thanks Kyle.

Scott Rogowsky: We always love hearing from our Business Casual listeners, so please hit our line. We're working on an upcoming episode about mall brands that are rebranding for the very demographics they originally pushed away. Have you forgiven Abercrombie for their triggering moose logo and unrealistic sizing and those models hanging out in front of the stores? Ugh. I'll never forgive them. Send us an email at or DM us on Twitter @bizcasualpod, that's B-I-Z-casualpod, with your thoughts.

Nora Ali:

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Scott Rogowsky: The award for best podcast production goes to Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins for Business Casual, additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Alan Haburchak is the director of audio Morning Brew. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you like what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get nasty with your casty. And we'd love it if you'd give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.

Nora Ali: Keep it business.

Scott Rogowsky: And keep it casual.