After relaxing “No Zoom” policy, Oscars opening awards-night venues in Europe

(LOS ANGELES) — In a Zoom call Tuesday morning with nominees, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh and the other producers of this year’s Academy Awards telecast announced the ceremony will allow European participants to attend virtually if they can’t, or aren’t willing to, fly to Los Angeles for the April 25th ceremony.

This comes after nominees balked at the producers’ former “no streaming” rule amid high rates of COVID-19 in Europe and elsewhere. In short, producers said either the nominees come in person, or they won’t be part of the program.

However, in Tuesday’s call, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the producers changed their tune, with Soderbergh promising to “be more transparent from this point forward.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Soderbergh was joined on the call by fellow producers Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher, and UMass Dartmouth COVID-19 consultant Dr. Erin Bromage. They promised that the safety precautions that are being instituted at Los Angeles’ Union Station for the show will be mirrored at the yet-to-be announced venues in Paris and London.

That said, producers still “encouraged” the participants to come to the L.A. venue if they can, and if they agree follow Los Angeles County’s policies regarding travel and quarantine — expenses the Academy will cover.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, producers said the traditional two-week quarantine period can be shortened if the participants travel in first or business class, if they’ve been vaccinated, or if they’re already working under the strict “bubble” conditions that have become the norm in the film and TV industry.

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC on April 25.

By Stephen Iervolino
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