2020 Oscars Pushed Back by Two Months Due to Coronavirus

Michael Prieve 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
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For the fourth time in its history, the Oscars are being postponed.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network said Monday that the 93rd Academy Awards will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned because of the pandemic’s effects on the movie industry.

Over the last few decades, a number of international incidents have affected the event. From the flooding of Los Angeles in 1938 to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968, as well as the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981.

82nd Annual Academy Awards - "Meet The Oscars" New York
The Time Warner Center on February 25, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Getty Images)

Monday morning (June 15, 2020), the governors (who total 54, representing 17 branches) weighed in fresh and hashed things out. With a date change comes an extended eligibility period (to February 28), to give a wider swath of films (many of them independent) a chance to finish production and reach audiences.

Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement Monday:

“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”

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Photographers cover the red carpet arrivals to the 85th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Before making the decision the Academy checked in with the Los Angeles Department of Health, which advised them to push back as long as possible, as well as studios and distributors, paying heed to what they needed as they struggle to get back up and running.

The eligibility window for the 2021 Oscars, which typically runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of any year, has in turn been extended through Feb. 28, 2021.

The academy said that its Governors Awards, at which lifetime achievement Oscars are handed out and which is not televised, would not take place this fall as planned. “Additional information about the ceremony and selection of honorees will be provided at a later date,” it said. The academy also pushed back the opening for its long-delayed museum in Los Angeles; it will now open on April 30.


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