This year’s Academy Awards ceremony is requiring in-person attendance. Nominees will not be able to attend via Zoom. The annual event, which is being held April 25th this year, will take place at Los Angeles’ Union Station. Only nominees, their guests, and presenters will be allowed in the building, along with the behind-the-scenes crew. Additional segments will be filmed at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Academy has been trying to figure out the best way to push forward with this year’s broadcast in the safest way possible for months now.
The recent Golden Globes broadcast suffered several technical difficulties throughout, including Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor delivered while his Zoom was on mute. Nominees were allowed to participate from their homes, but the Academy isn’t going to allow that for the Oscars. “We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts,” a letter from the Academy producers to nominees reads.
Zoom has been a way of life for many during the past year, but it hasn’t been perfected for use in awards shows, which the Academy is well aware of. In addition to their in-person announcement, the show’s producers want all nominees to know that Zoom will not be a part of the ceremony at all. “For those of you unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about traveling, we want you to know there will not be an option to Zoom in for the show,” continues the letter.
While Zoom has been the safest way for awards shows to continue during a pandemic, it hasn’t always been the most entertaining thing for viewers to watch from home. The Academy’s letter continues, “We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts.” Hollywood has yet to react to the new Academy Award ceremony rules, but one can imagine that some will not appreciate having to travel to Los Angeles to take part.
Zoom has been unpredictable during live broadcasts, which has also served up entertainment on its own. Plenty of viewers have enjoyed watching their favorite celebrities have a hard time with Zoom because it’s relatable. With that being said, it appears that the Oscars wants to ensure that some of those technical glitches don’t happen during their broadcast. It will be interesting to see who shows up for Hollywood’s biggest night, and who decides to stay home and avoid the whole thing. Yahoo was one of the first outlets to report on the Academy Awards requiring in-person attendance.