The Academy Awards aren’t going to allow zooming in: ‘the virtual thing will diminish’ it

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For all you can say about The Golden Globes, and there is a lot, they had the great idea to create virtual nominee rooms that the at-home audience could watch. They didn’t have the good sense to cut the filler, which was even less entertaining than usual, but they used technology to their advantage. The Emmys last fall with Jimmy Kimmel were not that bad, all things considered. They had a wall of monitors showing people at home and I loved the fact that for nominees living in LA they sent actual people in space suits with boxes to their homes. Nominees who lived out of town got just the boxes to open, which contained a confetti bomb along with a statue for winners. This pandemic is leading awards show to come up with creative ways to use technology to adapt. Only the Oscars are not going to bother to use technology much at all. We’ve already heard that they will only allow nominees plus one guest at the show. The organizers recently sent out an email to nominees saying they’re not going to accommodate anyone zooming in from home. Their reasoning is that “the virtual thing will diminish” everything they’re doing to let people attend in person. How f’cking old and privileged are the organizers? That was meant to be a rhetorical question, but I’ll check. Steven Soderbergh, 58, Stacey Sher, 58, and Jesse Collins, 59, are the show’s producers who sent out that email.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released new details of the upcoming 2021 Oscars ceremony — including a request for all nominees to attend in person.

In a letter sent out to Oscar nominees on Thursday, producers for April’s award show revealed those nominated will not have the option to Zoom into the live show.

“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,” producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins wrote.

The letter continued, “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.”

For those unable to attend, the Academy will accept the Oscar on behalf of the artist.

The Academy’s COVID protocol for the live show takes its roots in “treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability.”

The show’s theme was also revealed as “Stories Matter,” with the producers asking talent to take part in interviews where they’ll share their own personal stories. The idea is to connect each person’s story on the Sunday, April 25th award show.

Dress code was also touched on, with producers telling nominees to avoid “casual” attire.

“We’re aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not,” the letter said.

[From People]

This is so short-sighted, stubborn and so far behind the times. I get that they’re The Oscars and they want to maintain an air of exclusivity, but this is not it. Testing cannot take the place of masking, social distancing and just staying home. Yes Hollywood is continuing to work but they’re doing it in safe countries like Australia. In the US there are still outbreaks on sets. While the recent Grammys attendees wore masks, they did not have masks on the red carpet. Yes a lot of people have been vaccinated, but vaccines are still hard to come by in California and in some of the countries the nominees come from. Plus many of them will have to travel to get there! Also, how sh-tty does this letter sound? They’re adopting an air of faux youthfulness – “formal is totally cool if you want to go there” – while clinging to an old outdated format for the show. You know it will still be three plus hours too. I was really looking forward to seeing some pets and kids, but The Oscars are going to be interminable as usual.

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12 Responses to “The Academy Awards aren’t going to allow zooming in: ‘the virtual thing will diminish’ it”

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  1. Noki says:

    I liked how they did the Grammys,it was on the rooftop,no filler audience,just people who needed to be there and everyone in masks. Small and intimate but still watchable.

  2. (The OG) Jan90067 says:

    Completely stupid. WE ARE STILL *IN* A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC!! WTF ACADAMY??? You are essentially *punishing* people for wanting to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.

    I was going to tune in, but nope. Don’t care for bullies in ANY form. Not they’d care about my viewership, but I’m out.

  3. Liz version 700 says:

    So you are going to salute the best in their craft by getting them sick and risking their lives?!?

  4. Granger says:

    It just reeks of self-absorbed navel-gazing, too. “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.”

    Yes, because film fans like me can’t be subjected to the horror of seeing our favourite rich celebrities via video link. They simply MUST be seen all together in the same room or my life will never be the same.

  5. Ohreally says:

    Jesse Collins produced a virtual awards show for BET when everyone else was scrambling so I doubt he would have been hindered by doing it again. The Academy doles out the rules and that group is probably vaccinated and could care less about the actual talent. This sounds like CMT or whatever country awards show all over again. I guess killing Charlie Pride was the floor and not the ceiling. That little statue must be made of antibodies.

  6. Who ARE These People? says:

    So much B.S. Virtual connection hasn’t managed to diminish anyone else’s work, including that of health care and government.

    I wouldn’t trust the safety precautions of the elitist and irrelevant assholes and they are, out of vanity only, putting a lot of people on the spot. With COVID variants being even more contagious and possibly lethal, this is incredibly short-sighted.

    Other organizations and events will take their cue from the Oscars and that’s such a problem. You’d think they’d be mindful of their status as a role model.

  7. L4frimaire says:

    This seems really unnecessary and low key hostile. They are worried about their ratings.

  8. VIV says:

    How insulting to anyone who isn’t LA based and can’t travel. I’ve actually liked the virtual awards, I hope other shows continue a hybrid.

  9. guilty pleasures says:

    It is my hope that the opinions and musings of we regular folk will encourage a rethink of this ridiculous stipulation on those who may be honoured with a little statuette.
    I wonder if anyone will spill the identity of the shortsighted fool who is trying to enforce this stupidity.
    For crying out loud, I have been doing THERAPY over zoom. It is not optimal for my clients, but it is safer for all of us.
    Is the irony of the fact that we all interact with actors, and the rest of the people who create movies, via screens? We aren’t there in person. We will see the awards show on a screen, after seeing the movie on a screen. SMH.

  10. Det20! says:

    Utterly ridiculous. Not to mention contrary to “going to great length” to ensure safety, which would mean you don’t bully people into attending, disregarding their and all other’s health. The Academy will accept the award for those not attending?! Eff that, just let nominees participate via Zoom.

    As others I will absolutely not tune in if they stick with this decision. My viewership will not make a dent either, but it is the only way I can protest. Apart from the fact that I find it completely lame to hear the presenters say “XY cannot be here tonight so we accept this on her/his/their behalf”. Just give me winner reactions from the living room sofa preferably with pets and kids around. Not interested otherwise.

  11. HeyJude says:

    The absolute absurdity of this is that voters are still widely elderly. As are numerous key nominees like Anthony Hopkins, Glenn Close, Youn Yuh-jung, Paul Raci. Others are nearing the high risk ages, being 60+ like Oldman, McDormand.

    You take out Anthony Hopkins with COVID because you had to do this one stupid little show in person, the reputation of the Academy will never recover.

    I guess they’re assuming the elderly participants are vaccinated, but the vaccines aren’t all guaranteed against variants current or forthcoming.

    This is short-sided, selfish, and disrespectful to the people involved in these works.

  12. Emily_C says:

    They like to think the Oscars are essential. They’re so up their own butts they could give themselves colonoscopies.