In what can be seen as an encouraging development for the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the dreaded Zoom factor will not be a part of the 2021 Oscars presentation.

Following Zoom acceptance speeches from the 2020 Emmys and 2021 Golden Globes, the change is coming. This year’s Academy Awards show will be exclusively in-person.

The lucky nominees have little choice at this point, given that the producers of the 93rd annual Oscars, Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, sent them an email Thursday, obtained by multiple news and entertainment outlets, laying down the law.

The April 25 event, they said, will be done safely.

The Academy said this will be “an intimate, in-person event” at Union Station in Los Angeles. There will also be live moments at the show’s traditional venue, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The note explicitly stated, “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.”

This year’s Oscars night will include a 90-minute “pre-show gathering” in the Union Station courtyard, say the producers, who added that the nature of the pre-function will mean “you should be pretty relaxed by show time.”

No guarantee on whether that event will be televised.

Only presenters, nominees and their guests can attend and the producers are  “aiming for a feeling of casual exchange and good humor,” they wrote. 

But no casual dress will be tolerated. No hoodies. The letter suggests an outfit that’s “a fusion of inspirational and aspirational.” 

And speeches? Winners should “read the room” and “tell a story,” as well as thank people by name rather than their title.


Anything else? 

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