Attendees at the primary venue of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony won’t be required to wear masks when the cameras are rolling but will have to mask up during commercial breaks, according to reports.
Sunday’s 93rd annual Academy Awards on ABC will take place primarily at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, with some aspects of the evening unfolding at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and at remote locations around the world.
Attendees at Union Station won’t have to wear face masks while they are seated in the main show room and on camera. But masks will have to go on during commercial breaks and when guests move into one of two adjacent courtyards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the Academy didn’t offer an official explanation for its mask policy, the Reporter noted that under current Hollywood production guidelines, masks are not required for people on camera.
The mask policy was reportedly unveiled Monday during a virtual meeting with publicists and nominees. It remains unclear if masks will be required for attendees at the Dolby or remote locations. The move comes amid President Joe Biden’s public and persistent appeal that Americans wear masks “until everyone is in fact vaccinated” — which is a modified request of his original plea of 100 days.
The year’s ceremony is being produced by Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.
At a separate press conference on Sunday, Soderbergh reportedly hinted that masks would be visible during the telecast.
“Masks are going to play a very important role in the story of this evening,” he said. Speaking about the ceremony in general, the Traffic director noted: “I know it’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before, so we’re leaning into that.”
Jesse Collins was a producer of the Grammys telecast last month during which attendees were required to wear masks except when performing or accepting awards.