Sorry, Folks, The Oscars Aren't Going To Have An Option For Zoom (Or Hoodies) At This Year's Ceremony

Brad Pitt at the 92nd Academy Awards giving his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor

It comes as no surprise that many of Hollywood’s biggest ceremonies look a little different this year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic a number of safety measures have been put in place to keep nominees, guests and production safe. The zoom approach, which allows nominees to virtually join any given ceremony, has already led to some hilarity this awards season. But the biggest awards show in the industry has recently announced that a Zoom option and casual attire (yes, even hoodies) are off the table for this year’s ceremony.

Recent correspondence from the producers of the 93rd Academy Awards, like Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, has shed some light on exactly how the Oscars are going to work this year. In an email, which was sent out to nominees yesterday, the producers explained why there will not be a zoom option for guests and offered dress code guidelines. Here’s the official language:

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. 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.

The email, which was first shared by The Hollywood Reporter, confirmed that there won’t be an opportunity for nominees to remotely join the ceremony. It also detailed the expected dress code:

You’re wondering about the Dress Code (as well you should). 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.

Hmm, it sounds like the Academy is trying to stay away from the hoodie-chic that Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis rocked at the Golden Globes. Despite the lack of an online option for nominees, the producers have assured guests that they are treating the Covid precautions with the utmost care and attention. The email also outlines exactly how the producers plan on keeping everyone safe:

Regarding the practical aspects of the show, our plan is to stage an intimate, in-person event at Union Station in Los Angeles, with additional show elements live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Of course, your first thought is CAN THAT BE DONE SAFELY? The answer is YES, IT CAN. We are 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. There will be specific instructions for those of you traveling in from outside of Los Angeles, and other instructions for those of you who are already based in Los Angeles. This will all come directly to you from the Academy to ensure you have a safe, carefree evening (a glimpse of the future?).

It sounds like the team is pretty confident they can offer a safe in person event. As the United States continues to roll out the vaccine across the country, it’s starting to look like life is getting back to normal. From this email, the Academy is striving to offer nominees, guests and viewers a positive glimpse into that future.

I know I’m interested to see how this all plays out from a practical perspective. The Academy Awards are such a large production and I can only imagine how much more difficult it will be to pull off this year. It will be hard to top some of the heartfelt moments from last year’s ceremony, but the field is no less impressive.

This year, Steven Yeun became the first Asian American to be nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in A24’s Minari. Riz Ahmed also became the first Pakistani actor to be nominated in the same category. The Academy continued to shatter diversity records by nominating two women, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell, in the Best Director category for the first time in history.

Hopefully everyone will be able to attend the ceremony, they’ll just have to leave the hoodies at home. For more news on the upcoming Oscar ceremony, stay tuned with CinemaBlend and be sure to check out our full list of nominees for this year’s ceremony.

Braden Roberts

Into tracksuits by Paulie Walnuts, the Criterion Channel and Robert Eggers.