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.


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 TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid 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 BoltonDiplomacy with China is good for America The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep DOJ launches probe into Bolton book for possible classified information disclosures 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."