Oscars 2021: Regina King explains ‘maskless’ policy in opening monologue

Louis Chilton
·2-min read
 (A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
(A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

Regina King explained the Academy Awards’ approach to wearing protective face masks during her opening monologue at this year’s ceremony.

The 93rd Oscars are taking place tonight (25 April), having been delayed by two months due to the pandemic.

Nominees are attending the ceremony in person, with an event being held in Los Angeles’ Union Station. Some of those from outside the US able to attend via satellite hubs in London and Paris.

During her monologue which opened the ceremony, King, whose film One Night in Miami... is one of those to be nominated this year, explained why the nominees were filmed not wearing masks at the event.

“Yes, we are doing it maskless,” said King. “You are probably asking, ‘how are they able to do that?’ Well, think of this as a movie set. An Oscars movie with a cast of over 200 nominees.

“People have been vaxxed, tested, re-tested, socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely. So, just like on a movie set, when we’re rolling: masks off. And when we’re not rolling: masks on. That’s how we do it.”

King began her speech by seeming to almost fall over, remarking that it was “live TV”. She also made reference to the recent conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin in the monologue.

Among the films competing for top awards this year are Chloé Zhao’s life-on-the-fringes drama Nomadland, Emerald Fennell’s feminist revenge satire Promising Young Woman, and the August Wilson play adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Going into the night, David Fincher’s Mank had the most nominations (10), including for Best Director, Best Actor for Gary Oldman and Best Supporting Actress for Amanda Seyfried.

The Father, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 all had six nods apiece.

You can keep up with the latest Oscar developments here.

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