When a baseball game is delayed due to weather, the implication is that ticket holders should hang around as the wait will be relatively brief. But if a game is postponed, it means collect your stuff and head for the parking lot. Delay and postpone are technically synonymous, but the former means a presumably brief stall while a postponement sounds like someone has either thrown in the towel or is seriously thinking about it. Hence the title of this post.
HE to Academy: In this, the spring of our solitude and COVID discontent, the coming Oscar season is something we really need to celebrate and put our hearts into, now more than any other time in the Academy’s 93-year history. Especially with things starting to open up a bit and with the recent ruling that streaming-only films are Oscar-eligible.
We all need to adapt and stand up and gather round and support each other as best we can under the circumstances. It is our absolute responsibility to the industry and to ourselves to celebrate and champion and promote the hell out of the best movies being released by whatever means, now and forever, under any circumstances but especially in this, our time of industry need.
I am saying this because of a completely unacceptable Variety story by Marc Malkin that claims that “the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering postponing the big night, according to multiple sources.”
Postponed until when? Delaying for a couple months, maybe, but otherwise no, no, no, no…NO! That is totally out of the question.
Malkin: “The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, say definitive plans are far from being concrete at this juncture. The telecast is currently set for Feb. 28, 2021, on ABC.
“’It’s likely they’ll be postponed,’ one of the sources familiar with the matter told Variety.”
Malkin: “However, that person cautioned that the details, including potential new dates, have not been fully discussed or formally proposed yet. Another source says the date is currently unchanged at ABC.
“When new temporary rule changes for Oscar eligibility were announced in April because of COVID-19, Academy president David Rubin told Variety it was too soon to know how the 2021 Oscar telecast could change in the wake of the pandemic.
“’It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be,’ he said. ‘We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take.'”
HE to Academy: If and when COVID seriously inferferes until, say, mid-fall, one option would be to extend the 2020 Academy year until 1.31.21 or even 2.28.21. And then hold the Oscars in April, like they used to do in the early ’60s. Just this one year.
Malkin: “It’s unclear if postponing the Oscars will also mean that the Academy will allow films released after the year-end deadline to qualify for the 2021 Oscars.”
Deadline‘s Pete Hammond addressed this situation in a May 7th story called “Oscars Vs. Super Bowl? NFL’s Pandemic Contingency Plan Could See Both TV Events Headed For The Same February 28 End Zone.” Here’s an excerpt:
“Of course, should COVID-19 send the Super Bowl to February 28 in this version of events, the Academy would have to know in a timely fashion as logistics involving the Dolby Theatre venue and many other things must be sorted out in doing the heavy lifting of moving the Oscars.
“And to where? Earlier would seem out of the question in this already threatened season where more time to see late-breaking fall movie releases will be needed more than ever. That means a move back to March, maybe even April?
“There is lots of precedence for this, and with all that is going on — even as we are talking about an event not even scheduled until 10 months from now — moving later could be an advantage since we don’t know what this pandemic-affected season is going to realistically even look like. We don’t even know what screening these contenders will look like in an environment where social distancing is the name of the game, and theater availability is an ongoing question mark.”
Also: “[The Academy] consistently held the show in March since the 61st awards in 1989. This year, the Super Bowl fell on February 2, just a week before Oscar and the closest the two have ever come to each other. The Oscars did make allowances for the Winter Olympics every four years by airing first week of March every four years. The 60th Oscar show was the last to date to take place in April (on the 11th) in 1988.
“The latest that the Oscars have ever taken place, at least in the televised era that began in 1953, was for the 38th awards, on April 18, 1966. That also happened to be the first time the show was broadcast in color.”