- The 93rd Academy Awards originally set for 28 February 2021 has been postponed to 25 April 2021.
- This is the first time in 40 years that the Oscars have been delayed.
- The British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) have also announced that the ceremony has been moved from 14 February 2021 to 11 April.
The Oscars, the world's most prestigious film awards ceremony, has been postponed from February to 25 April 2021 because of the growing global Covid-19 pandemic, the first time in 40 years that the Oscars are delayed.
The last time that the broadcast was postponed was in 1981 because of the assassination attempt on the United States president Ronald Reagan, which saw the Oscars broadcast delayed by 24 hours.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the 93rd Oscars that was originally set for 28 February 2021 has now been moved out by a further three months to 25 April.
The Oscars and preceding red carpet coverage are annually broadcast in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa by M-Net on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service.
The Oscars will now move the eligibility date for films to 28 February 2021.
"In extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalised for something beyond anyone's control," says Academy president David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a joint statement.
ABC network that will produce and broadcast the show says it's not yet sure how the awards broadcast will look.
"We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year's show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures," says Karey Burke, ABC president of entertainment.
BRITISH FILM AWARDS ALSO POSTPONED
The United Kingdom's British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) also announced that it's now moving its original 14 February 2021 date. The Baftas usually takes place two weeks before the Oscars with 2021's Baftas that will now take place on 11 April 2021.
The Baftas is also pushing the eligibility date out and says in a statement "these changes are in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic, which resulted in UK cinemas closing on 20 March, and are the result of extensive industry consultation".
About the awards date change the Baftas says "this change from the previously announced date of 14 February acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period. Further details on the ceremony will be announced later in the year."
Marc Samuelson, the Baftas film committee chairperson, says "We have pushed back by two months to give all films the best possible chance to be released and considered properly".
"As cinemas gradually re-open, we know that the major releases will dominate screens. Relaxing the scale of theatrical release required, including releases on VOD in some cases, and pushing back the date of the Awards should help the smaller, independent, documentary, foreign language and particularly the British films to be seen in good time".