Ah, the Oscars. Tone-deaf as ever.
Recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group responsible for the Oscars, sent a letter to all the nominees. In it, the powers-that-be informed everyone that, unlike such lesser beings as the Golden Globes and the Emmys, there will be no Zooming at the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25.
Meaning, if you want to do something as Old School as make an acceptance speech, better get your butt over to Union Station in downtown L.A. where most of the ceremony will be held (additional elements will take place at the show’s traditional venue, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood). Saith the letter, “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.”
In other words, to paraphrase “Seinfeld’s” immortal Soup Nazi, “No Zoom for you!”
The missive continues: “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 virtual thing? How about the pandemic thing?
Contrary to Hollywood’s tunnel vision, not everyone in the business lives a limo-ride away from Union Station. Nominees Emerald Fennell (Best Director, “Promising Young Woman”), Carey Mulligan (Best Actress, “Promising Young Woman”) and Olivia Colman (Best Supporting Actress, “The Father”) live in London. With the pandemic surging again, there’s a good chance England will ban all nonessential international travel until May.
Best Director nominee Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”) lives in Denmark. If he chooses to attend in person, he’d better set aside a good chunk of time. Once he gets to L.A., he must endure a minimum 10-day quarantine, before and after his visit. Gee, what a cool opportunity to spend almost a month by himself in a hotel without his family. It’ll be all the sweeter if he loses (which he most likely will, though “Another Round” is the front-runner for Best Foreign-Language Film).
There are professional repercussions, too. If you’re a nominee lucky enough to be working, the quarantine dictates could mean shutting down a production for most of April.
The letter touched on appropriate dress, too. “We’re aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational (their caps), which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not.”
In other words, don’t show up in a tie-dyed hoodie as Jason Sudeikis did when accepting his Golden Globe.
Interestingly, there’s nothing in the letter about masks, though the Academy does promise an on-site safety team with PCR testing and different protocols for those traveling to L.A. But if they’re going to ban Zoom, I can’t imagine anyone in charge being happy with a parade of famous faces covered up by PPE. Though, again, here’s a chance to get creative. You could wear a mask thanking your agent or with the title of your next movie on it or just a big heart and your kids’ names.
Geez. Never mind #OscarSoWhite. Try #OscarSoClueless.
GET OUTTA THE HOUSE
Georgia Tech is stepping up with the Georgia Tech Skyline Series. Through May 18, Tech is offering a series of performances on a temporary outdoor stage. Now’s your chance to see performances by the Atlanta Ballet, ATL Collective, Kaki King and many others. Perfect weather. Perfect idea.