Oscars Survey Says: Most Americans Have No Idea What's Nominated for Best Picture, Who's Hosting the Show

Nick Schager
·Writer
Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the 2017 Oscars, in case you hadn’t heard
Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the 2017 Oscars, in case you hadn’t heard

2017’s Academy Awards will be handed out this Sunday night, and forecasters increasingly expect it to come down to a battle between Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight for Best Picture. According to a new poll on all things Oscars by The Hollywood Reporter, however, couldn’t name those two films — or any of the other seven contenders — as nominees for the award.

Related: 2007 Oscar Flashback: 10 Years Back With Beyoncé, Ryan Gosling, Reese Witherspoon

According to THR’s survey (conducted with the National Research Group in February), 60 percent of the 800 people questioned drew a blank when it came to Best Picture nominees — and in many respects, those results crossed political lines. Regarding La La Land, 39 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters were unaware the musical was up for the big award, while 26 percent of Donald Trump supporters were in the dark. In the case of Moonlight, Clinton supporters were mostly stumped (16%), if slightly more in the know than Trump supporters (6 percent). Clinton supporters were found to be more likely than Trump backers to have seen this year’s Oscar crop, such as Arrival (31% Clinton-ites vs. 28 percent Trump-ers) and Manchester by the Sea (22 percent vs. 19 percent). The exception to that rule was Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, which drew more Trump backers to the box office by a significant margin (2 percent vs. 18 percent).

Faring worse than the nominees in pre-show recognition was Jimmy Kimmel: 66 percent of respondents said they didn’t know he was hosting the Oscars. On a brighter note, 52 percent of those surveyed said that learning Kimmel will be MC made them more likely to watch the show.

Related: Seth Meyers Introduces His Award-Worthy Film, ‘Oscar Bait’

And despite the relative ignorance about the nominees, seven out of 10 respondents said they’d be watching Sunday’s telecast, indicating the show remains an event unto itself, regardless of familiarity with the movies being honored in a given year.

For more poll results — including the finding that Ellen DeGeneres was respondents’ favorite recent Oscar host, over Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris, and Seth MacFarlane — click over to the full story at The Hollywood Reporter. And whether you can name a single nominee or rattle them all off alphabetically, you can check out the 89th Academy Awards telecast starting with the red carpet at 7 p.m. Eastern this Sunday night on ABC — and rely on Yahoo Movies’ Oscar night coverage for news, photos, and a complete Winners’ List, updated as the prizes are handed out in Hollywood.

2017 Oscars, By the Numbers: