Oscars 2022 Stage Is Sparking Some Spirited Criticism Online

The Oscars look a lot different this year. Following a COVID-19 virtual world, the Oscars opted for a new design for its 2022 stage. Crystals, swirls and circles make up the futuristic set design of the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, which is taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 27 and airing on ABC. The design is courtesy of  David Korins, a creative director who went for an artful construction. The cyber shade notwithstanding, Korins, who is also responsible for the Academy Awards stage in 2019 and has designed sets for Kanye West and Lady Gaga, says his Oscars design is crafted to give audiences a peek at a post-pandemic paradise.

"We have made a portal that looks into the future," Korins told Architectural Digest. He referred to the pandemic crisis as an "indelible, insane, upside down, crazy experience." with that in mind, he says the new stage "has to do with an incredibly deep and incredibly forward-thinking sort of future-forward view. In that future, we trade in the currency of elegance and electricity."

He definitely didn't hold back on opulence or presumably, cost. The set is equipped with 90,000 Swarovski crystals that will twinkle with 120,000 pixels of LED lights and 5,000 linear feet of LED tape. "Every single piece of scenery on stage has a light inside of it," he explained further. "It kind of glows from within." 

His goal is that the stage will create a "sense of community" between the night's winners, presenters, performers and the crowd. "You can see that we've pushed the stage out into the audience; literally, it's the first time ever in the Dolby where we've decked over a large part of the audience," he added. "We've created an actual community around the winner circle and around the performance space."

But not everyone is a fan of the design. One Twitter user says it bears similarities to caveman days in the desert with a black/green hole, sarcastically of course.

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Another compared it to a digital card game. It hints that the design is too busy.