Oscars see record low ratings with 23.6M viewers

A record low 23.6 million viewers tuned in for the 92nd annual Academy Awards on Sunday, a steep dip from last year's 29.56 million. 

Despite the ratings, ABC touted the Oscars, which went without a host for the second year in a row, for garnering more viewers than any other awards show this year.

ABC also said that the ceremony, which featured an upset when "Parasite" became the first foreign-language film ever to win best picture, "dominated Sunday night's social conversation with 20.6 million total social interactions." The network said social activity was up 16 percent from last year.

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The ratings decline came amid a politics-heavy three-hour broadcast.

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" star Brad Pitt joked about President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE's Senate impeachment trial while picking up his best supporting actor trophy. 

"They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John BoltonJohn BoltonChina sees chance to expand global influence amid pandemic Trump ignores science at our peril Bolton defends decision to shutter NSC pandemic office MORE this week," Pitt remarked.

Best actor winner Joaquin Phoenix used his acceptance speech to deliver a call to action on animal rights, telling the audience that humans have become "very disconnected from the natural world."

Trump has in the past railed against his Hollywood critics at the Oscars and knocked its ratings.

"Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY," he tweeted in 2018. "Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore — except your President (just kidding, of course)!” the president said.

Last August, Trump said that the Academy Awards were "on hard times" because, he claimed, viewers "got tired of people getting up and making fools of themselves … and disrespecting the people in this room and the people that won the election in 2016."