Oscars attendees to go maskless during telecast, Internet jokes 'guess Covid is taking a night off'
Academy representatives said since the event is being shot as a TV or film production, it is not mandatory for people to wear masks on camera
People who are attending the Oscar Awards on April 25 have been asked not to cover their faces with masks while cameras are rolling during the live ceremony. The decision was taken during a Zoom meeting with Academy representatives and nominees, and studio and personal publicists on Monday, April 19.
An Academy staffer explained the reason behind the decision. They said since the event, which is taking place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, is being shot as a TV or film production, it is not mandatory for people to wear masks on camera, as per Variety. But when cameras are not rolling, for example during commercial breaks, attendees have to put on face coverings.
The new rules during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic also include limited audience capacity. According to the Academy, only 170 people are allowed to watch the function. People in the audience will be rotated in and out of the event. Besides, when nominees arrive at Union Station, they will be handed out a personalized itinerary that describes what times they will be rotated in and out.
The producers of the 2021 Oscars are Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. During a press conference on Saturday, April 17, they stated, “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. If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be. But that topic is very central to the narrative.”
Sher continued, “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.”
The red carpet moment has also been reportedly cut short as attendees are permitted a maximum of three photographers. Very few media outlets have been given permission to do interviews, including ABC News, KABC and E!. But winners will be virtually interviewed by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest for ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’ and Lara Spencer of ‘Good Morning America’.
The mask rule at this year’s Oscars got Twitter talking. Several users on the social media platform thought the rule made little sense. One person said, “I read the article and I still believe this is idiotic.” Another person tweeted, “Wait the Oscars are in California right? Same state with a mask mandate?” One more joked, "I guess covid is taking a night off." A user suggested, “Why don't they just have the nominees per category not wear masks while their category is being announced and the rest of the time have them wear masks. Like the Grammys.” While the second one added: “This is ridiculous, they need to do it right to wear mask all the time.”
I read the article and I still believe this is idiotic 😐 pic.twitter.com/flZS5csbCg— Alexis (@_Alexis__Alexis) April 19, 2021
Wait the Oscars are in California right? Same state with a mask mandate?— Mostafa Saad (@mostafatsaad) April 19, 2021
I guess covid is taking a night off— Ryan Bailey (@rjbailey02) April 19, 2021
Why don't they just have the nominees per category not wear masks while their category is being announced and the rest of the time have them wear masks. Like the Grammys— Abbina Reviews (@AbbinaAni) April 20, 2021
This is ridiculous, they need to do it right to wear mask all the time— TJ Radway 🎸🌉🇯🇲🇺🇸🎶 (@tjradway7) April 19, 2021