In a move aimed at making it a forward-thinking, modern organisation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year implemented online voting for the Oscars so that members of the academy could nominate without having to put pen to paper. Sadly, none of it went to plan, and futuristic visions gave way to tech support nightmares in a drama that could affect the outcome of the awards themselves.
First, some history.
The Academy Awards — more affectionately known as the Oscars — are given out each year to actors, directors and artists to celebrate their achievements. The awards are decided based on votes from members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and for the 85th annual awards, members were encouraged to vote online rather than having to put pen to paper for another year.
The system was naturally secured by a password, but not just any password. The Academy members were all asked to choose passwords that complied with an incredibly obscure set of rules, making it not only hard to crack, but hard to remember for the user who set it.
Issues plagued the system and members trying to cast votes were being locked out. They’d call a condescending help line set up by the Academy to reset the password, but still people were having problems.
The Hollywood Reporter managed to chat to a few of the members trying to nominate winners online, and they hate it.
The real problem with this isn’t the borked technology, it’s that the borked technology will probably stop some members from voting at all this year, which could skew the result of the Oscars.
Super-Size Me director Morgan Spurlock had issues voting, while Transformers producer Don Murphy said that he isn’t voting at all because it’s all just too hard.
Voting has now been extended to January 10 so that members having issues can call the help line and actually make their voices count rather than just abandoning the whole torrid affair. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Oscars image by Shutterstock