Academy Likely Delaying Oscars Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The biggest awards show within the entertainment industry just may be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Variety reported that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering postponing the 2021 ceremony. The telecast was initially going to air on Feb. 28, 2021.

A source close to the matter told Variety that it's "likely" that the telecast is postponed. The same source did note that specific details about the ceremony have yet to be discussed or even formally proposed. Although, a separate source told Variety that the date is currently unchanged on ABC, the network in which the ceremony will air on. Back in April, when new eligibility rules for films were announced in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Academy President David Rubin told Variety that it was too soon to tell whether or not the date of the 2021 Oscars would be changed in any way. Rubin said the publication, "It's impossible to know what the landscape will be. We know we want to celebrate film, but we do not know exactly what form it will take."

The Academy previously amended its eligibility rules, given the current state of the world. Usually, films must have a seven-day theatrical release in Los Angeles County to be eligible for an Academy Award. However, the organization stated that films that are released digitally would qualify if they had a theatrical release planned. Rubin said that these updated rules were made to "support our members and our film community." He added, "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."

Of course, the Oscars wouldn't be the only major event to be affected by this health crisis. It was previously announced that the Summer Olympics, which were to be held in Tokyo, Japan, will be delayed until 2021. On Tuesday, it was formally announced that the Met Gala, the annual fashion event held in New York City, would not go on as scheduled this year. The Met Gala was initially postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic but has since been outright canceled, per Page Six. The event is typically held in May and with a myriad of celebrities and fashion designers attending.