Oscars 2021 Delayed Two Months, Eligibility Period Extended Due to Coronavirus

The 2021 Oscars have officially been delayed two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, marking another event that has been affected by the global crisis. TV Line reports that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on Monday to postpone the ceremony, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 28. 2021. The 93rd Academy Awards will now take place on April 25. The ceremony was scheduled to air on ABC.

Due to the pandemic, the eligibility period for the 2021 awards will be extended. The window typically spans Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of the given year and been extended through Feb. 28, 2021 for this awards cycle. The Oscars were previously postponed in 1938, when the 10th annual Academy Awards were postponed one week due to the Los Angeles flood of that year. In 1968, the show was postponed for two days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and in 1981 the awards were delayed one day following the assassination attempt made on President Ronald Reagan. The movie industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, with a number of slated-to-be-blockbuster movies having been delayed in their releases, some for almost an entire year.

The Oscars are the first major awards ceremony to be postponed in 2021. This year's Tony Awards were scheduled for June 7 and were postponed in March with no new date yet announced, the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards are still scheduled for Sept. 20 on ABC and have not been moved or announced to be virtual, and the 2021 Grammy Awards are scheduled for Jan. 31. The 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards are scheduled for Jan. 24 and the 2021 Golden Globe Awards have confirmed hosts in Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but no confirmed date. Last year's Oscars did not have a host but the Academy has not yet announced a hosting decision for the 2021 show. The 2020 show, which became host-less after a scandal involving announced host Kevin Hart, was the first time the Oscars were without a host since 1989.

"I think the producers... have done the best possible version of the hostless Oscars," Robert Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night Programming, told Entertainment Tonight in February. "Going forward, you'll look at if you can get the right host, that would be great. If not, there is a way to do it hostless. It's great having a host."