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Oscar Ceremony To Be Postponed?

It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone, but it turns out that the Academy Awards are not immune to the whole release date musical chairs game that has been going on since March, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Over the past few months, every major tentpole has been uprooted. Now, COVID-19 appears set to impact its biggest Hollywood item yet…the Oscars. Yes, it seems like we’re about to learn that 93rd Oscar ceremony won’t be happening during its initially planned date of February 28th, 2021. When might it be moving to, and what does this change actually entail/mean? Read on to find out more…

The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive, detailing how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning another virtual meeting of their board of governors, this time to move the big show from February 28th. Supposedly, the Academy Awards could be postponed by as many as eight weeks, moving it past March and into April, or even May. Moreover, they’re going to be figuring out a potentially larger eligibility window for Oscar contention. Once the details are hammered out, we’ll know more, but this is a huge change. That being said, it’s not a cancelation or anything of the sort, so keep that in mind.

Here’s a bit from their story:

On Monday morning, four days after meeting and voting to enact a number of major diversity measures, the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will again convene via Zoom to tackle another pressing issue: the date of Hollywood’s biggest night of 2021.

The 93rd Oscars ceremony has long been scheduled for Feb. 28, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown 2020 into disarray for Hollywood, shuttering theaters across America; preventing production and post-production work on films that were slated to be ready for release by year’s end; and disrupting elite film festivals like those in Cannes and Venice that often serve as launching pads for contenders.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the Academy’s 54 governors are likely to delay the ceremony’s date by as many as eight weeks, and to extend the eligibility window beyond Dec. 31, 2020, in recognition of the fact that the coronavirus has not yet receded — in fact, California’s three highest days of new reported cases have all happened this month — and, according to some experts, could surge again with a ‘second wave’ before year’s end.

The governors are not expected to determine the format for the ceremony yet — in-person or virtual — as they feel they still have time to see how the pandemic unfolds before making that call. They did, however, need to put a hold on a new date on the calendar of its broadcasting partner, ABC.

While highly unusual, these moves by the Academy are not unprecedented. The Oscars has been delayed three times before — due to LA flooding in 1938; following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968; and after the attempted assassination of Pres. Ronald Reagan in 1981. And, as I noted back in March, the Oscars eligibility window was extended beyond the traditional 12-month period once before, ahead of the 6th Oscars. That ceremony, in March 1934, was preceded by a 17-month eligibility window spanning Aug. 1, 1932 through Dec. 31, 1933, so that thereafter the eligibility period could be the actual calendar year preceding each ceremony, Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

Remember, this is just a date being moved. There are way more important things going on in the world right now. When things get back to normal, we’ll have an Academy Award ceremony. You know what? Whether it’s February, March, April, or May, when we have the big Oscar night, it’ll still be great, so just keep that in mind…

Stay tuned for more as we have it!

(Source: THR)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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