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The 2021 Oscars may be postponed.
The 93rd Academy Awards are scheduled to be held on Feb. 28, 2021. As the coronavirus pandemic has upended this year’s major releases of motion pictures, insiders told Variety that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is considering rescheduling film’s biggest night.
A source who spoke anonymously to the outlet said it is «likely» the Oscars will be postponed due to the global health crisis, although no formal date has been thrown around as of yet. A second source claimed the official date is still the same at ABC, the network that is set to air the show.
Writer-director Bong Joon-ho, winner of the Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and International Feature Film awards for «Parasite,» poses in the press room during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on Feb. 9, 2020. (Getty)
The news comes on the heels of the Academy changing its criteria for the upcoming awards. In a statement to Fox News last month, the organization explained that movies that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run will now be eligible for the Oscars.
“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering. Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules,» Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a press release obtained by Fox News.
The Academy also said it will condense the two sound categories into one and prohibit DVD screeners for 2022’s 94th Oscars, in an effort to become more carbon neutral.
Charlize Theron arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)
The new rules also allow Oscar-qualifying theatrical runs to take place in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to Variety.
Previously, a film would have to have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater in order to be eligible for an Oscar. Now, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are made available via home on-demand service may qualify for best picture and other categories.
At the time the new eligibility rules were announced, Academy president David Rubin told the outlet it was «impossible to know what the landscape will be» come February.
«We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take,» Rubin explained.
The Academy did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.