Oscar 2021: Attendees Will Not Be Required to Wear Masks While On Camera

Oscars: Attendees Will Not Wear Masks While On Camera

Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
The Academy conveyed this information to nominees and publicists during a Monday morning Zoom session.

This game plan marks a significant departure from the way things were conducted at the only prior major awards ceremony that was held in-person during the pandemic, the 63rd Grammys, back on March 14. At that gathering, masks were required except during acceptance speeches.

Jesse Collins was a producer of the Grammys and is, along with Stacey Sher and Soderbergh, one of the producers the Oscars, as well. The trio participated in a Zoom press conference on Sunday, during which Soderbergh, “Masks are going to play a very important role in the story of this evening.” (Perhaps he was referring to a rumored tribute to first-responders?)

The Academy’s rationale for not requiring masks is apparently that the ceremony is being shot like a movie — a point that they have repeatedly emphasized, referring to presenters as cast members — and, under current production guidelines, masks are not required for people on camera.

Additionally, COVID numbers in America are better now than they were a month ago, thanks to widespread vaccinations. And the Academy believes it will have a better pulse on the health of attendees because it is conducting its own mandatory testing. Each attendee will be tested at least three times prior to the show, and will be temperature-checked upon arrival.