Oscars attendees won’t have to wear masks, academy says

The ceremony will be attended by just 170 guests, who will be rotated in and out of the telecast

Peony Hirwani@peony_hirwani
Tuesday 20 April 2021 08:41

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Attendees of the live Oscars ceremony on Sunday will not be required to wear face masks while taking part in the televised event, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced.

According to Variety, this decision was taken during a Zoom meeting on Monday which was attended by Academy representatives, nominees, and studio and personal publicists.

The ceremony is going to be held at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles with just 170 guests being rotated in and out of the event space.

It is legally being treated as a TV/film production, therefore “masks won’t be required for those appearing on camera as the award show will be shot like a film”, an academy rep explained during the meeting.

When nominees are off-camera, they will still be required to wear their masks.

The New York Times reported earlier that a third of the Oscars production budget this year has been allotted to Covid-19 safety protocols.

Producers Stacey Sher, Jesse Collins, and Steven Soderbergh said during a press conference on Saturday: “The impact of Covid-19 will be highlighted throughout the show and masks will play a very important role in the story that the ceremony is trying to convey.”

Soderbergh said: “If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be. But that topic is very central to the narrative.”

Sher said: “I think movies are a large portion of how we have gotten through this incredibly difficult year, and I think you have to look at the films as well, whether they’re period [or] whether they’re contemporary — they are about the times that we live in.

“And they’re beautiful, they’re moving, sometimes they’re painful, but we need to have hope to move forward. So we have to acknowledge what we’ve been through, and the historic losses we’ve been through, but we also have to fight for cinema and our love of it and the way it has gotten us through things,” she said.

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