Oscars to Ditch Zoom for Socially Distanced Show

Statuette 84th Annual Academy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, America - 26 Feb 2012.

The 93rd Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC, and the Los Angeles Times reports that the producers will not include Zoom or other video conference calls in the show.

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The Oscars have long had their own range of glitches. Whether it be rambling acceptance speeches, hosts who are not funny, or announcing the wrong winner, people have come to expect the worst from a show that promised to offer Hollywood’s best. Problems with Zoom calls would have made it just another Oscar night.

The Golden Globe awards in February succeeded with socially distanced presenters based in California and New York, but it failed with its call-ins. Too many winners had technical glitches. Some may have been with the users and some with the presenters, but it didn’t matter: the show was marred by reminders to turn off mute, among other things.

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Sunday night’s Grammy Awards were a success. Host Trevor Noah and a small audience attended outside, while nominees did performances from an audience-free venue. The performers concentrated on what they did best while folks viewing live or on TV saw a smooth, enjoyable show. On Monday, everyone talked about Megan Thee Stallion because there were no video calls to flub.

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Throughout the pandemic, performers and producers have developed new ways to create shows while maintaining social distance. The Dropkick Murphys livestreamed a rousing St. Patrick’s Day show without an in-person audience. Trevor Noah did “The Daily Show” from his apartment for months. And the Grammys made distanced award shows interesting.

The Motion Picture Academy may follow the Grammy model, or it may do something else that makes its live broadcast worth talking about the next day. It won’t be someone walking around in a bathrobe on Zoom, though.

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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.
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