This is a column that I absolutely hated to write. From early childhood, until well into adulthood, I absolutely loved to watch The Academy Awards presentation.

I love movies and good television.

But Hollywood ... We have a problem.

I have been speaking and writing about cognitive dissonance for years.

I’ve just never been able to wrap my head around the concept of why people, corporations and countless other entities are so willing to work against their own self interests.

The latest case study in this self-destructive behavior is the 2021 Academy Awards.

As we try so hard as a very divided nation to emerge from the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic ... the stage couldn’t have been better set for Hollywood to put on a great show and shine.

Because of their self-indulgent narcissism and “wokeness” ... they are simply incapable of being entertaining anymore.

Instead, they purposefully chose to lecture America in a divisive manner ... whereby they pretend to be inclusive, yet they are just the opposite in reality.

As such, ABC’s presentation this past Sunday of the 93rd Annual Academy Awards had its lowest viewer ratings ever (per preliminary Nielsen numbers).

In a nation of more thank 320 million people, a mere 9.9 million people tuned in.

Last year’s Academy Awards drew more than 20 million viewers. Yes, they’ve lost more than half of their viewers in one year.

It wasn’t all that long ago that The Academy Awards used to draw more than 43 million viewers.

However, just as most of the professional sports are currently doing, they are in the process of destroying their own brand.

They don’t seem to grasp, that the American people simply want to be entertained. The movies, television, Broadway, professional sports used to be an escape.

They were an escape from your problems, the stress of daily life ... a way to get away from any divisiveness and the never ending politics.

Instead of being an escape, these once great institutions have now become the most politically motivated of them all.

They may be the last to actually figure this out, but they are willfully slogging towards their own ruination.

They have become unwatchable and highly offensive.

The last two Academy Awards have taken place without a host. Prior to this, the lowest numbers for their telecast was 26.5 million viewers in 2018, (hosted by Jimmy Kimmel).

This number was soundly panned back then. Their ratings now are 3 times smaller.

They now long for the bad old days!

I have such fond memories of absolutely loving the Academy Awards, with great hosts like Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal.

The skits were so funny. The writing was so sharp. It was such an entertaining Sunday evening ... That I did not mind having to wake up just two hours later to come into work and host the “Hurley in the Morning” program.

The 2021 installment was so bad, that they didn’t really even show many film clips of the nominated actors and films.

You would think that showing clips of the films and the nominated actors would be the whole point of having a television program.

This basic tenant is not even on their radar screen anymore. At this point, they have completely lost their way and may never be able to find their way back.

TVLine readers gave the 2021 Academy Awards an average grade of “F,” which appears to be a first in TVLine history.

I can’t even remember the last year that I watched The Academy Awards.

It’s gone from something that I never missed ... to something that I can’t even consider watching.

I’m obviously not alone.

The deterioration and declination is across-the-board, as The 2021 Golden Globes and Grammy’s were sharply down in viewership by 60 percent and 50 percent.

SOURCE: Harry Hurley opinion/editorial comments and viewer statistics pulled from TVLine.

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