Coronavirus Outbreak: Oscars board of governors look to postpone event date and extend eligibility window

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oscars, initially expected to occur on 28 February, could be postponed by almost eight weeks

FP Staff June 15, 2020 13:19:23 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Oscars board of governors look to postpone event date and extend eligibility window

The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is scheduled to hold another online meeting on Monday to finalise the date of the Oscars in 2021, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oscars, initially expected to occur on 28 February, could be postponed by almost eight weeks.

Discussions on extending the eligibility window of the contending films released beyond 31 December 2020 will also take place during the meeting. The news comes after the pandemic showed no signs of waning in the US.

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The 54 governors presiding over the meeting will not yet take a call on the nature of the Oscars next year — whether it'll be held online or in-person — since they feel they could still wait and see how the pandemic unfolds.

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The Oscars. Image via Reuters

In a bid to remain inclusive, the Academy recently increased the number of women and people of colour on their board.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its new members last Wednesday, which included the Selma filmmaker, A Star is Born producer Lynette Howell Taylor, and casting director Debra Zane.

Incumbent governors reelected included Whoopi Goldberg, Dolemite Is My Name screenwriter Larry Karaszewski and Participant Media CEO David Linde among others.

The organization that puts on the Oscars said that the number of women on the 54-person board has gone from 25 to 26 and people of color from 11 to 12.

The Board of Governors represent each of the academy’s 17 branches and work to set the organization’s strategy, finances, and “fulfillment of its mission.”

DuVernay, who was nominated for her documentary 13th, has been an active and vocal member of the film academy for years. She recently backed up David Oyelowo’s assertion that members of the academy threatened to squash Selma’s awards chances after they wore T-shirts with the words “I Can’t Breathe” to the film’s New York premiere in 2014 in honor of Eric Garner.

The academy responded on Twitter condemning the threats, writing, “Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable. We’re committed to progress.”

The Oscars this year are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the pandemic. In April, over a month after theaters closed and a number of film festivals were cancelled as a safety precaution, the Academy announced revised eligibility requirements for this year, allowing movies that debuted on a streaming service to be considered for an Oscar.

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