The awards show must go on. The Oscars are being held in person on April 25, and nominees and their guests will qualify as essential workers, just as workers for film and TV shoots have throughout most of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means even those who travel from outside the state or country will be able to attend the ceremony as well as pre-ceremony events, provided they abide by the organizers' quarantine and testing requirements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says in a letter obtained by Variety, which has all the details on when exactly various people from various locations must arrive in town, when they must test, etc. The ceremony will be broadcast from downtown LA's Union Station and the Dolby Theatre.
Reaction ran the gamut from bewildered ("That's nice, but weird!" tweeted one commenter. "That puts them on a par with nurses? I know film has saved many people's lives, but this feels a bit odd.") to somewhat more aggressively disapproving: The AV Club's headline reads, "Oh great, Oscar nominees are 'essential workers' now," and writer Tatiana Tenreyro describes the awards ceremony as the "hottest superspreader event of the year." The Academy Awards is also adding an event space in London, and possibly others across Europe, for those nominees who would prefer not to travel. (Read more Academy Awards stories.)