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American Music Awards Ratings Plummet to Record Low as Entertainers Push Politics

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | October 10, 2018 | 12:29 PM EDT

Entertainer Billy Eichner (R) uses AMA platform to preach politics. (Screenshot)

Ratings for Tuesday night’s ABC broadcast of the American Music Awards (AMA) plummeted to an all-time low, as viewers apparently feared they’d be subjected to unwanted celebrity political preaching.

The three-hour program lost 25% of its 18-43 year-old viewers (1.8 rating/6.5 million viewers) from 2017, Variety reported Wednesday. The overall broadcast audience (2.4 rating/9.2 million viewers) suffered an even steeper decline of 29%.

“This is the latest example of an awards show seeing serious declines year-over-year. Back in September, the Emmy Awards on NBC also put up an all-time low,” Variety notes.

Indeed, as a Media Research Center-sponsored poll by McLaughlin & Associates released last week shows:

  • 74% of likely voters say they watch live sports and entertainment shows, like the AMAs, “to get away from politics and do not want to be bombarded with partisan political messages,” and
  • 43% say they’re less like to watch such shows because they’ve gotten too political.

But, instead, entertainers like Billy Eichner used their 2018 AMA appearance to loudly demand viewers vote to support their political opiniond on issues such as climate change and gay rights:

“If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, if you believe that climate change is real – then, we need to do something about it. Don’t let anyone tell you your vote won't count.”

Likewise, singer Taylor Swift, who has publicly backed Democrats, used her appearance to urge viewers to vote in the upcoming elections.

“If live sports and entertainment shows want to restore their viewership ratings, they need to stick to entertainment and stop trying to jam liberal activism down our throats,” Media Research Center Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor said, commenting on the study’s findings.


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