Let's face it. The process of adding - or subtracting - a category from an awards show is as hot of a debated topic as there is in showbiz. Case in point; look at the furor that was created in 2011 when the Grammys announced the removal of dozens of theirs.
And, the Oscars are no different. Odds are, a category like 'Best Portuguese Accent by a Filipino Grandmother in a Dress' doesn't stand much of a chance of being added to this year's ballot. Not even if a mob of Filipino grandmothers picket the offices of the Academy of Motion Pictures and raise such hell, the legendary telecast's Latino advertisers threaten to pull out.
Thus, even though we're probably not going to see mobs of child actors picketing any time soon, and there's little chance their managers and agents give a crap, I would raise the question:
Is it really necessary for awards shows to force a nine year-old kid to square-off against an 85 year-old adult?
Pomp, circumstance, and tradition aside, it just doesn't make a lot of sense. No matter how talented the adorable Quvenzhané Wallis is, should she really be competing against Emmanuelle Riva for the same award? These are two human beings at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their craft. One is just beginning. The other, in her twilight. And, it's not fair to either.
Forget about what it might do to the psyche of a young child should he/she lose out. What about what it does to the already-fragile ego of an established actor/actress who, quite possibly, spent the best years of his/her life eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches in a roach infested apartment, only to lose to an actor who, just months ago, was still wetting the bed? No doubt, it probably adds an extra element of "WTF!" to the dejection and embarrassment of the thespian who's dedicated the past 6 or 7 decades to the sole pursuit of honing his/her craft.
So, why not save everyone the anguish, and create a Best Actor/Actress Under 12? Or, better yet, a "You Must Be 'This' Tall to Win This Award" category? Anything would be better than the way it is now.
Granted, you don't want to turn the Oscars into the Kids' Choice Awards, but there has to be a better way than putting Meryl Streep and the e-Trade baby in the same category.