A few weeks ago, The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences proved to be surprisingly flexible when it comes to the established rules that determine whether or not a film can qualify for the Oscars, addressing the reality of 2020 by deciding that movies released digitally can still be eligible for the Academy Awards in 2021. There was some fine print, like that movies still had to be available to Academy members on a secure streaming platform and that they had to have had a theatrical rollout in the works that was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, but it was still a somewhat unexpected (the very necessary) shift in how the Oscars work. Since then, though, it doesn’t sound like The Academy has just been patiently waiting for things to go back to “normal.”
According to anonymous sources who spoke to Variety (mysterious!), there are some plans being made inside The Academy to postpone the Oscars past the planned February 28, 2021 telecast date. At least one said it’s “likely” that they’ll be pushed back, though at least one other simply noted that the date of the show on ABC hasn’t changed. It doesn’t sound like there’s a formal plan or even potential rescheduled dates in place yet, but supposedly there are still discussions happening.
Rather than a particularly pessimistic outlook on our future, it seems like this speaks to more of a general uncertainty about what life is going to look like in Hollywood going forward. The Academy probably doesn’t want to get stuck committing to that February date in case, you know, things get worse. If they put out a message saying that the 2021 Oscars have been canceled and that we should all start dividing into factions based on who has access to bullets and who access to precious guzzolene, then we can get worried.