Are you a fan of long-winded, rambling acceptance speeches? Were you eagerly anticipating the chance to see previous Best Supporting Actor winner Brad Pitt announce the Best Supporting Actress winner by winking and saying, “C’mon up here and get yer trophy, darlin“? If you answered yes to either of those, I have terrible news for you. There’s a chance you’re going to have to wait a while for the 93rd Academy Awards. Variety is reporting that the 2021 Oscars will “likely” be postponed.
This year’s Oscars ceremony was held on February 9th. Next year’s ceremony is scheduled for February 28th, 2021. But just like it did to DragCon, Coachella, Burning Man, the Met Gala, Broadway, Celebrity Weddings, Royal Weddings, A-list defamation trials, and emergency divorce filings, the COVID-19 pandemic is fucking things up for awards season too. And award season doesn’t even start for another six months.
The 93rd Academy Awards are still nine months away, and yet the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reportedly expecting to push the date farther into the future. Several sources recently spoke to Variety, and they stressed that definitive plans have yet to be decided on when the Oscars will air in 2021. But they would say that the general conversation is that no one is expecting to roll out the red carpet at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on the night of February 28th. No one knows when the possible new date will be. As it stands, ABC (who is broadcasting next year’s ceremony), still has the 28th saved in their schedule.
It’s not a secret that COVID-19 has fucked up the film industry. Since movie theaters remain empty, a lot of studios have been dumping new releases on streaming platforms. Usually a film can only qualify for the Oscars if it had a seven-day theatrical release in Los Angeles County, but the AMPAS recently temporarily changed that rule. Last month they decided that they would consider films that premiered on a streaming service. However, only those films that had a planned theatrical release will be considered.
The Oscars also have a deadline for who qualifies (it’s December 31st at midnight). Two months of in-theater movie-watching have been lost to the coronavirus, and it’s not known how the AMPAS will make up for that lost time.
As you will remember, the Oscars went hostless again this year, and there hasn’t been a host announced for the 2021 ceremony. I’m guessing that if the 93rd Oscars does even happen, there won’t be a host, but an online Zoom moderator. Because there’s no way they can safely hold a socially distanced ceremony. As if any of those stars will be willing to give up their front-row seat for a spot way, way off in the back, six feet away from the nearest human, face obscured by an N95 mask. The horror! Although the possibility of a postponement turning into a cancellation is great news for whoever does damage control for the Oscars. After all, you can’t catch shit for a shameful lack of diversity if you have no nominees.