After facing two months of quarantine, cities across the country are slowly beginning to open back up. Stores and restaurants have re-opened for business while beaches and parks are available for the (socially distanced) taking. All of that change — including halts to production and the closing of movie theaters means that the date of the 2021 Oscars has been postponed — but don’t worry, the industry still has its biggest night of the year in the books.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took to social media to announce that the 93rd Academy Awards, along with its glamorous red carpet moments, will now be on April 25, 2021. The shift in dates comes in part due to the delayed film dates that have come as a result of Hollywood shutting down during quarantine, leading to an extension in the organization’s eligibility window, which now goes until Feb. 28, the original date for the upcoming Oscars ceremony. The Academy’s president David Rubin and chief executive officer Dawn Hudson shared in a statement that they hope by moving these eligibility dates, they will provide the time filmmakers may need to finish and release their films without getting penalized for something beyond their control, such as the global pandemic.
According to the Los Angeles Times, another factor to the date change is to avoid a potential resurgence of Covid-19 cases that could occur in the fall and winter. The Academy’s board of governors, which include A-list names like Laura Dern, Steven Spielberg, and Whoopi Goldberg, decided that any chance of a second wave would be too risky for a large-scale event in February.
In addition to pushing back the dates of the Academy Awards, eligibility dates, and announcement dates for the shortlist and nominees — which are now scheduled for Mar. 15 — the Academy has also opted to delay the opening of its Academy Museum of Motion Pictures from its original Dec. 14, 2020 date to April 30 after Oscar Sunday.
The Oscars are the latest major event to be postponed or canceled due to coronavirus, joining a list that includes the Met Gala, Coachella, the Tony Awards, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, whether the 2021 Academy Awards will be the only awards show postponed in light of the pandemic has yet to be determined.