The 2021 Oscars May Be Postponed Due to Coronavirus

The Academy is weighing its options for the iconic awards show.

Sad news for film buffs: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering delaying next year’s Oscars ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic despite its February 28th premiere date.

An anonymous source told Variety, “It’s likely they’ll be postponed” but the Academy has not formally proposed a new date for film’s biggest night. Due to the distant set date of the telecast on ABC, it may be too soon to tell whether the 2021 Oscars will need to change while the pandemic remains widespread.

“It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be,” Academy president David Rubin told Variety. “We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take.”

The news comes a few weeks after the Academy announced changes to how films can qualify for an Oscar nomination in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Academy’s rules traditionally state that films must be shown in a Los Angeles County theater for at least seven days to be eligible for a nomination. However, films that already had a planned theatrical release but first debuted on a streaming platform are now eligible for the award without having a theatrical run.

Once movie theaters are re-opened, the seven-day requirement will once again be enforced and Oscar-qualifying theaters will expand to areas in New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and the Bay Area. Movies that have already streamed when theaters re-open will not be required to have a theatrical release.

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