Next year’s Oscars ceremony has been pushed back by two months, the latest big celebrity event to have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Academy Awards were due to take place on 28 February next year but have now been put back until 25 April.
Organisers have also agreed to extend the eligibility window beyond 31 December 2020 to the end of February.
Next year’s British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) have been pushed back to 11 April, keeping in line with the Oscars.
The pandemic has already halted work on a number of films which were due to be released by the end of the year.
“This is a much needed boost for those films who may have been stalled in post-production,” an Academy member told Variety.
Last week, The Academy pledged to ensure greater inclusivity in its future award ceremonies, to “level the playing field”.
It also said there would always be 10 films in the best film category rather than a fluctuating number between five and 10, potentially meaning more diverse film choices in the running.
This rule won’t come into play until 2022, however.
The Oscars has only been delayed three times before – due to LA flooding in 1938; after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr in 1968; and following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
It’s not yet known if the ceremony will be virtual or in person as it is too early to say.
David Rubin, president of the Academy – the body behind the Oscars- and its 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. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and 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.
Source: BBC Entertainment