Contrary to another publication’s report that the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will definitively take place in-person on April 25, 2021, neither the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nor its Oscars broadcast partner ABC has made any such decision, multiple knowledgeable insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Indeed, with Los Angeles County in the midst of a three-week shutdown due to a surging number of COVID-19 cases, insiders say the Academy and ABC cannot confidently make plans for next week, let alone next year. And if the pandemic fails to abate by April, any sort of sizable in-person gathering will be out of the question.
In other words, everything will come down to health and safety considerations, so plans remain very fluid, with numerous contingencies being planned for.
Moreover, the Academy has not yet even confirmed producers for the telecast, who will obviously play a central role in any and all decisions pertaining to the format of the show, especially whether to conduct the ceremony virtually or in-person at the 3400-seat Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, which has been the home of the Oscars since 2002.
The likeliest outcome has long been and remains some combination of the two, as was the case with the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards back on Sept. 20. For that event, host Jimmy Kimmel and a series of presenters, such as Jennifer Aniston and Laverne Cox, made socially-distanced appearances at the Staples Center, without an in-person audience, while nominees appeared virtually.
High-ranking insiders were taken aback by the initial Variety report on Tuesday that a decision had been made. The story cited “a rep from the Academy and ABC” although they are separate organizations with independent spokespeople.