The 2021 Oscars Will Be a Zoom-Free Awards Ceremony

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After a year filled with virtual and audience-less awards shows, The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony — which will be directed by Glenn Weiss, the Academy just announced — is taking a step toward normalcy with a rule that no nominees can appear via Zoom.

In a letter sent out by the show’s producers — Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins — people were told “we are treating the event as an active movie set, with … an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability.” And, the missive, published in The Hollywood Reporter, noted that should a nominee not be able to attend, whether “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.”

The letter also, in a section called “Our Speech About Speeches,” said they were concerned less about length (oh oh) than they were that people be entertaining. And they had tips: “READ THE ROOM. Tell a STORY. If you’re thanking someone, say their name, not their title. Don’t say MY MANAGER, PEGGY just say PEGGY. Make it PERSONAL. The audience leans back when they see a winner with a piece of paper in their hand.” Let’s hope they help.

As for who else will be there, the show already announced it would include a live audience made up solely of presenters, nominees and their guests.

Additional instructions about travel specifics are also being provided, particularly to those who are journeying from outside of Los Angeles to the event. There will be separate instructions for Los Angeles-based attendees. One way or another, it all comes together on April 25, but whether it will do with a host is still unknown.

The Oscars, Sunday, April 25, 8/7c, ABC