Oscars backtrack on plan for a popular film award this year

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The organization that bestows the Academy Awards says it is suspending plans to award a new Oscar for popular films amid widespread backlash to the idea.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it will further study plans for the category. It wrote in a statement that it recognized that implementing a new award three quarters of the way into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released.

The film academy announced the new category for “outstanding achievement in popular film” last month.

It prompted an immediate outcry, with many inside and outside the film industry wondering how it would impact critically and commercially popular films such as “Black Panther.” The superhero blockbuster has been cited as a possible best picture contender.