Late last year, The Academy Awards announced the inclusion of a Popular Film category, but they quickly got rid of it after quite a bit of negative backlash, leading to the Academy considering popular films for Best Picture. The Popular Film category hasn't been the only Oscars category that the Academy has gotten rid of over the years. The Academy Awards always seem to be changing, with the original ceremony in 1929 having an almost completely different awards line-up. With this in mind, here are 8 Oscar categories that the Academy got rid of.
8 Best Title Writing
For the very first Academy Awards, acknowledging films made between 1927 and 1928, the Academy had an Oscar for Best Title Writing. The award was given to Joseph Farnham, one of the founding members of the Academy. Strangely, he didn't receive this award for actually writing any titles, but instead to acknowledge his work in general over the years. The award was discontinued after that, making us wonder of Farnham had the award created just for him. It also begs the question, what movies would this award acknowledge today, and how would Superman IV: The Quest for Peace have fared in this category?
7 Best Dance Direction
Back during the height of musicals in cinema, the Academy created the Oscar for Best Dance Direction, which was introduced in 1935 and lasted through 1937. This quickly became a popular category, as musical numbers were among some of the most popular aspects of movies in the 1930s. What killed this category, however, was the Directors Guild of America, who were upset that the award used the word "Direction" with a capital "D" while giving the award to people who weren't directors. Because of this, the award was retired, and since then, most choreographers have received zero recognition from the Academy.
6 Best Casting
Like the Best Popular Film category that was almost introduced this year, the Oscar for Best Casting almost came into fruition in 1999, before ultimately being thrown out. Because of this, casting directors remain the only people credited in the main titles of movies that don't have their own Oscar category, which is actually quite disappointing. Casting directors even have their own branch with the Academy, yet aren't deemed worthy enough to be honored at the awards ceremony, making it a real shame that the Academy decided to shelve this particular award.
5 Best Assistant Director
Though they are certainly not the most well known, assistant directors are arguably the hardest workers on any film set. While their title may make it seem like they are literally just assistants to the director, they are actually in charge of scheduling practically every minute of every day during production on a film set. Their jobs are certainly the most stressful, and ultimately decide if a movie will be a success or not. The Academy decided to give assistant directors their own category at the Oscars in 1933, and in that first year alone, gave the award to seven different assistant directors from seven different studios just to acknowledge their hard work. Unfortunately, as the Oscars became more about competition and popularity than hard work, the assistant director category became less relevant, leading to it becoming dissolved in 1937.
4 Best Original Musical or Comedy Score
This is one Oscar category that has certainly had a rough history. It was first introduced in 1942 alongside the Best Original Score category, which still exists. Over the years, Best Original Musical or Comedy Score underwent over 10 different name changes, such as "Best Scoring of a Musical Picture" and "Best Original Song Score." It was introduced at the end of Hollywood's musical era, and tried for half a century to remain relevant, before ultimately being retired after 1999. It was briefly made popular during Disney's "Renaissance" era during the 90s, but when this "era" ended, the Academy finally decided this award was no longer relevant.
3 Best Director, Comedy
One of the biggest complaints about the Oscars is that the awards only go to serious movies, seemingly discluding anything popular or comedic. However, during the first ceremony for the Academy Awards, the Best Director category was actually split between Comedy and Drama movies, much like how the Golden Globes do it today. However, these two categories were "merged" after the first Awards ceremony. We put quotes around "merged" because very rarely does a comedy director ever get nominated for this award, making it feel like the Best Director, Comedy award was completely dissolved to only put the focus on the best dramatic directors..
2 Best Original Musical
Technically, this award is still around, but it has never been used. After the identity crisis of the Best Original Musical or Comedy Score category, the Academy permanently changed the award to Best Original Musical in 2000 to solely honor musicals as a whole rather than specific parts of them. Unfortunately, there have never been enough movie musicals (or at least good movie musicals) released in the same year as each other to allow this award to ever be given at the Oscars, as it would seem pointless to have a category with only one or two nominations.
1 Best Title Design
Much like the Best Casting and Best Popular Film categories, the Oscar for Best Title Design was one that The Academy almost introduced in 1999, but ultimately decided against. While a lot of movies certainly put a lot of effort into their opening or ending titles, like the James Bond franchise or the adorable opening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's safe to say that it doesn't warrant its own Academy Award, so maybe it's best that this award, along with some of the others on this list, were ultimately shelved.