The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the 2021 Oscars have been pushed back two months. The annual event was on schedule for February 28th, but will now happen on April 25th, 2021 instead. This is only the fourth time the Oscars have been postponed since starting in 1929. Massive flooding in Los Angeles delayed the event in 1938 and then 30 years later they were put on hold after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The last time the Oscars were delayed was in 1981 after an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
It was reported back in May that the Academy was looking into possibly delaying the Oscars due to the world's current state of affairs. For now, they are aiming to give filmmakers more time to get their movies out into theaters, which should start happening next month. Major movie theater chains across North America have been closed since March. Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson had this to say about the decision to delay the 2021 event.
"For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone's control. This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema."
The Academy also announced that the Governors Awards gala has also been postponed to an unspecified date. The event was originally due to take place in the fall. The long-awaited opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will now happen in April to coincide with the new Oscars night. ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke also released a statement which you can read below.
"We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year's show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures."
The Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards presentation was supposed to happen this month, but it has also been pushed back to an unspecified date. The news comes after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced some massive changes for the future in regard to diversity. The Academy added director Ava DuVernay and producer Lynette Howell Taylor to their board of governors while also announcing new eligibility standards.
Diversity is going to be a requirement for the Oscars starting after the 2021 event. "body to introduce diversity and inclusion criteria into its eligibility requirements. It's unclear what steps the Academy is taking at the moment, but many assume they will follow in the footsteps of the British Film Institute, who were the first to adopt the diversity changes. Variety was one of the first to report on the new Oscars night.