• The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that the 2021 Oscars won't go virtual
  • The organization will host an "in-person" ceremony and is now finding ways to hold the event safely
  • The 93rd Academy Awards will air live on April 25, 2021

Oscar hopefuls won’t get a chance to get comfortable on their couches for the upcoming Academy Awards as the awards ceremony will not go virtual.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that the 2021 Oscars will not be held virtually and will instead host a traditional in-person, star-studded ceremony, Variety first reported. A spokesperson for ABC and the Academy confirmed the news.

The decision was made after the organization pushed its annual telecast back two months to April 25, 2021.

“The Oscars in-person telecast will happen,” Variety quoted the rep as saying.

Unnamed sources “inside the Oscars” told Variety that the Academy decided to push the awards night back because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hoping that theaters would reopen by spring so more films would be eligible.

An awards publicist who is familiar with the situation told the outlet that members of the Academy recently did a walkthrough of the Dolby Theatre to see how they can host the event while maintaining safety protocols.

“The academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” the awards publicist said.

The news of an in-person ceremony comes almost seven months after David Rubin, the organization’s president, told The Hollywood Reporter that they are making “every effort” to take on the challenges posed by the global health crisis.

“I think it's impossible at this early date to predict what form the Oscars will take, other than the fact that we look forward to celebrating movies in the most appropriate way given the way this all unfolds,” Rubin said at the time.

The Academy has already made changes to the eligibility criteria due to the pandemic. According to the new rules, movies that were slated for a theatrical release and are available for streaming for the members of the Academy on the company’s members-only streaming service will be eligible for the best picture nomination on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Apart from the Oscars, awards ceremonies like the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice and British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) are also trying to find ways to air their shows live from their respective venues.

The Golden Globes is scheduled to take place on Feb. 28, while Critics’ Choice will telecast on March 7. On the other hand, SAG awards and BAFTAs will hold the ceremony on March 14 and April 11, respectively.

As far as the pandemic is concerned, the U.S. is the only nation to witness more than 14 million cases of coronavirus. The country recorded 182,172 infections and 2,611 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Since 2015 and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Academy has made concerted efforts to broaden its membership Since 2015 and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Academy has made concerted efforts to broaden its membership Photo: AFP / Robyn BECK