The 2021 Oscars ceremony has, for the first time in its 40-year history, been postponed two months, due to fears over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday that the 93rd Oscars will no longer take place, as originally planned, on 28 February 2021, instead taking place on 25 April.
The Academy has also agreed to extend the eligibility window for films from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021.
In a joint statement, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said, “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year.”
They added, “Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and delaying our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalised for something beyond anyone’s control.”
The statement added the coming ceremony and the opening of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will mark an historic moment.
Film nominations will be announced on 15 March 2021, while the museum’s opening was delayed until 30 April 2021, instead of the originally planned 14 December 2020.
The organisers have yet to announce whether the 2021 ceremony will be virtual or in person yet.
The pandemic has already halted work on a number of films which were due to be released by the end of 2020.
In 1981, the Oscars ceremony was delayed for only 24 hours, due to an assassination attempt on then-US President Ronald Reagan.
Aside from the Oscars ceremony, many entertainment events have been affected by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. This has included the Eurovision Song Contest, which has been held every May for the past 64 years.
The prestigious Tony Awards, which are given to theatre productions, was due to take place earlier in June, but has been postponed with a new date yet to be announced.