UPDATE: A report coming in from “The Hollywood Reporter” states that “Contrary to another publication’s report that the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will definitively take place in-person on April 25, 2021, neither the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nor its Oscars broadcast partner ABC has made any such decision.” The publication cites their sources as “multiple knowledgeable insiders ” on the matter. We will keep you updated on new developments as they come in.
The Academy has made it clear. The Oscars will not be going virtual for the 2021 ceremony & they will be held in person. “Variety” was the first to report the story.
The Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences moved their annual telecast back two months to April 25, 2021, this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s believed that by pushing the awards ceremony back, the Academy hoped that theaters would be open again in the spring, thus allowing for more movies to compete in the annual celebration of the year’s best films. If movie theaters stay closed, by holding the Oscars later in spring, organizers are now focusing to make sure that the event continues as it always has and that’s with a live, in-person ceremony.
There are still some logistical issues to work out, including figuring out exactly how many people are allowed inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where the ceremony traditionally takes place. An awards publicist familiar with the situation says “The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options.”
Award ceremonies were forced to change their strategy this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emmys ceremony in September was a hybrid event that had some in-person elements with host Jimmy Kimmel and most nominees watching the show from home over Zoom. Many thought that would be the case with the Oscars but they seem optimistic about their prospects. Other significant ceremonies come before the Oscars & they have yet to finalize their plans. The four televised award shows that come first are the Golden Globes (February 28), Critics Choice (March 7), SAG (March 14), and BAFTA Awards (April 11). As of now, all methods on how to hold those ceremonies are on the table and nothing is being ruled out.
It’s interesting that The Academy is coming off pretty adamant about this because the awards take place in Los Angeles and as of this writing, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, L.A. County is the leading county in the U.S. for cases (at over 400,000) and deaths (over 7,600). Increased COVID-19 cases have triggered a mandatory three-week “Safer at Home” order for Los Angeles County that will last through December 20, 202). This could all get better before the April Oscar telecast but a part of me thinks it’s a bit bold to predict this early that they will actually have an in-person ceremony at this time. The vaccine is pretty much around the corner but it won’t be available for mass consumption until maybe late spring or early summer and it feels like without that, it might pretty difficult to convince the Hollywood elite to risk competing for the big award in person this year.
Do YOU think it’s wise for The Academy Awards to take place in person next year?