The Oscars Cheer Moment Proves The Internet Cannot Be Trusted With Power

The Oscars have had to reckon with the power of pop culture for decades. First there was the creation of the best animated feature category for the 74th Annual Academy Awards, and then there was the expansion of the best picture category from five nominees to ten — which has largely been attributed to the fact that "The Dark Knight" was not up for contention in the 81st Academy Awards. Now the Oscars has yet again opted to try and win favor from viewers with its "Favorite Cheer Moment," an award dedicated to "cheer-worthy" moments in popular movies including "Zack Snyder's Justice League" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home." There was also an award for "Fan Favorite Movie," with the title being self explanatory.

"Justice League" won the "Favorite Cheer Moment" for the scene where the Flash (Ezra Miller) taps into the Speed Force to reverse time; and the "Fan Favorite Movie" went to the zombie heist flick "Army of the Dead." These results reveal the power that the internet played in this vote — and also that the internet definitely cannot be trusted with that power. Both films were helmed by Zack Snyder, and since Snyder's zealous fan base had already established a campaign base on Twitter, the poll was conducted on a platform where Snyder's movies had a ready-made voting bloc, giving them a significant advantage in the race.

A League of Problems

It shouldn't be a surprise that "Justice League" won the cheer moment, as the road to its release has been paved with online interactions. The "Release the Snyder Cut" movement launched after the theatrical cut in 2017, with fans insisting to see Zack Snyder's original vision for "Justice League." In 2021, the fabled "Snyder Cut" finally premiered on HBO Max to a warmer reception than the theatrical cut. And the moment where the Flash uses his powers to reverse time and save the world is definitely epic (Even if Ezra Miller fails to run like a normal person should.)

On the other hand, this award showcases how the internet can also be used to give a voice to everyone — and even something as simple as the platform you use for polling can sway a vote (had the poll been based on Tumblr, for example, the "Favorite Cheer Moment"winner probably would have been a scene from "Hannibal," via mass write-in votes). 

On Twitter, fans of Snyder often left their messages under Warner Bros.' social media posts (including, pretty inappropriately, a tribute post to the late Rutger Hauer). The current collective goal is to "Restore The SnyderVerse" and continue Snyder's vision for DC Films — despite Snyder himself having moved on and found a new creative partner in Netflix. "Army of the Dead" had a more traditional road to its release, but Snyder serving as the director more than guaranteed that his built-in fanbase would swarm the Internet to vote for both films. 

There's no word on whether or not the Oscars will do this again, but the Academy should consider different measures if it does happen. And hey, it isn't like "Cinderella" won — could you imagine the reaction?