Monday, March 15, 2010

How the Oscars Could Be Socially Responsible …

The Oscars provided a night of glitz and glamour, but not a night of social responsibility. Why doesn’t the nation’s leading award ceremony care about, well, anything?

Some may say that the Hurt Locker’s big win was a social response, but when it comes to looking for CSR from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Oscars have a long way to go. The Oscars seem to have made no efforts to be green, to give back locally, etc. And that’s a shame, because the Oscars have high potential to do really cool things with CSR. Like Ghandi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” below are things CSR that the Oscars COULD do:


The Oscars are known for being ostentatious, expensive affair. However, transparency about how much it costs in terms of money, energy, and other consumptive metrics may bring constructive criticism to the issue.

Kids and Acting

Most successful brands in CSR do things that are a natural extension of their core business. To this end, The Oscars have a lot to contribute towards providing resources for the acting hopes and dreams of kids, especially those that would not otherwise have the resources for such activities. They could give away some of the oh-so-precious seats to kids, hold acting camps around the time of the show, sponsor kids in art school. Pro-sports do a good job demonstrating CSR opportunities related to big, annual events.

Be Green

Everything else is going green, and the Oscars could follow. From reducing the energy suck of the lighting to using recycled metals in the statues, the Oscars has green options that is not currently doing anything about. While The Oscars is an event that tends to sell itself, it may be even more impactful if it touted its social responsibility.

Choose an annual cause

Another cool way the Oscars could improve their CSR is to champion one cause annually. The members of the Academy could vote for a cause, like they vote for best picture, and a portion of ticket sales or Academy dues could go towards it. The cause could be the one the Best Picture director chooses, or it could be that the Best Picture director must donate to a cause of choice if they win. For example, what if every winner last night also had a charity attached to them, so that the Oscars turned into a benefit? What if the charity influenced Academy votes? Or, the Academy could market an annually chosen organization in tandem with the Oscars, drawing attention to it.

There are such exciting CSR opportunities for the Oscars to leverage… one hopes that one day they will.

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