Oscars 2021 likely to be postponed – report

The 2021 Oscar ceremony is likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the film industry magazine Variety.

Citing unnamed industry sources, Variety said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering the situation and the Oscars, currently due to take place on 28 February 2021, will probably be postponed. However, no formal discussions are thought to have yet taken place.

The rapid shutdown of film production and cinemas has thrown the Oscars schedule into chaos, with many films being released only online. In April, the Academy announced temporary changes in Oscar eligibility, allowing films that missed out on a cinema release to be considered for awards. Previously, films had to be screened in cinemas for a week before 31 December to be eligible. A postponement may mean the deadline for eligibility would also change.

Academy president David Rubin told Variety: “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.”

Despite declining viewer figures and unsuccessful attempts to reformat the show to arrest the slide, the Academy earns large sums from the Oscars telecast, with reports suggesting ABC paid $80m in 2017 for the broadcast rights.

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