Oscar nominees told they will not be allowed to appear virtually

Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
·3-min read

Nominees for this year’s Oscars have reportedly been told appearing at the ceremony via Zoom is not an option.

The 93rd Academy Awards are set to take place next month, with an in-person event at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

There will also be some live elements from the ceremony’s usual home at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Film Awards Season
The first pandemic-era Academy Awards will take place in April (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

In a letter sent to nominees and published by US outlet Deadline, producers said a virtual appearance is not allowed and the Academy will accept awards on behalf of any winner unable to make the show.

The letter states: “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.”

Riz Ahmed
Riz Ahmed is among the British Oscar nominees (PA)

The Academy, the body which oversees the Oscars, said the ceremony will be “intimate” and promised it would be done safely under pandemic-era precautions.

The letter, from producers of the show Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, says: “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?)”

Recent awards shows have seen some nominees deciding to dress casually for the big night, with actor Jason Sudeikis making headlines for wearing a hoodie while appearing virtually at the Golden Globes.

Such a laidback approach will not be welcome at the Oscars, the Academy said.

Of the dress code, the letter said: “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.”

Producers stressed the importance of “stories” to the nominees and said each one of them will be interviewed to “help us tell the story of your path” to the ceremony.

They added: “We want to highlight the connections between all of us who work in the movies and show that the process is uniquely intimate, collaborative, and fun (Usually. Hopefully?).”

Oscar nominees were announced this week and British hopefuls include Carey Mulligan, Riz Ahmed, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emerald Fennell.

Attendance to the April 25 ceremony will be restricted, the Academy said previously.