The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about everything in our lives, and its effects will likely be felt for quite some time, and one of those effects may very well be the postponement of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. Variety broke the news that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are looking into the possibility of postponing the Oscar ceremony, which is currently set for February 28, 2021.
At this point, the postponement is far from a certainty, but one source told Variety that “it’s likely they’ll be postponed.” Details haven’t been worked out yet, but I would imagine it all depends on just how far the COVID-19 lockdowns will stretch into the year. Given that much of Hollywood has shut down during this time, not to mention theaters, it’s understandable that the Academy would be exploring their options. This isn’t the first move that they’ve made in regards to COVID-19, as they announced a temporary rule-change last month which would allow streaming movies to compete in the awards. Typically, a film must have a seven-day theatrical release in Los Angeles county to qualify. “I think everyone is sympathetic to the filmmakers’ plight and we’re here to support our members and the film community,” Academy president David Rubin said last month. “It makes sense when we don’t really know what’s to come in terms of the availability of theatrical exhibition. … We need to make allowances for this year only and during this time when theaters are not open so great film work can be seen and celebrated.“
In regards to the possible postponement of the 2021 Oscar ceremony, Variety doesn’t know if this would mean that films released after the year-end deadline would qualify for the ceremony or not. The Academy declined to comment on Variety’s story, but I’d imagine that we’ll hear something more concrete later in the year.