The COVID-19 Crisis has put the movie industry on hold, with some movies getting delayed, while others that were set to be released have skipped theaters and are heading straight for streaming. And without movies, it’s hardly surprising that the Oscars are likely going to be postponed for the foreseeable future.
The Academy Awards were set to broadcast on February 28, 2021, but given the current situation, it’s almost certain that the ceremony will be delayed. After all, at this point, Birds of Prey and Sonic the Hedgehog would be the frontrunners for Best Picture, with Robert Downey Jr. locking up his first Oscar for his transformative work in Doolittle. When speaking to Variety, Academy President David Rubin said that it’s not yet clear what the ceremony might look like.
“It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be,” Rubin explained. “We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take.”
While the Oscars have seen a decline in viewers over the last few years, including an all-time low this last February, they still make plenty of money for the Academy. In 2017, ABC paid $80 million for broadcasting rights, so it’s unlikely that either party would want to completely cancel the ceremony.
However, will people still want to tune in if there aren’t any new movies? It’s unclear but it’s something that the Academy will have to figure out in the upcoming months. And whether that involves pushing back the deadline for consideration or simply changing the ceremony altogether, it will be interesting to see what the Oscars will end up looking like.