Oscar Nominees Won't Be Allowed To Zoom In, Wear Jeans

Is this finally the beginning of our return to normal?

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The 2021 Oscars ceremony will be in-person and Zoom-free, according to an email sent by producers to nominees (via Variety). The producers behind the email--Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), Stacey Sher (Mrs. America), and Jesse Collins (a prolific awards ceremony producer)--detailed their vision for a "safe, carefree evening" at "an intimate, in-person event" taking place and also airing on ABC on April 25.

On the heels of Los Angeles and New York area movie theaters recently re-opening with some restrictions still in place, the Oscars are following suit but taking a different approach. Assuring nominees that the Oscars can "be done safely," the ceremony will be treated "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."

Beyond the safety precautions, the Oscars are seemingly wanting to be more equitable with the ceremony and try to lock horns with its infamously swollen runtime. Emphasizing the message that "stories matter," the telecast's producers want to interview every nominee so they receive "equal prominence," to try to minimize acceptance speeches getting cut short day-of.

Furthermore, the letter reads, "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."

And if the insistence of an IRL-only Oscars indicates that the reality of a hopefully post-COVID world is starting to hit, the letter also indicates that the dress code will be "a fusion of inspirational and aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casually is really not." In other words, no more sweatpants. Can you imagine?

You can check out our breakdown of Oscar nominations here.

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