Oscars Will Be Live — No Zooming in Allowed! — and Dress Code Is 'Inspirational and Aspirational'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released new details of the upcoming 2021 Oscars ceremony — including a request for all nominees to attend in person.

In a letter sent out to Oscar nominees on Thursday, producers for April's award show revealed those nominated will not have the option to Zoom into the live show.

"For those of you unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about traveling, we want you to know there will not be an option to Zoom in for the show," producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins wrote.

The letter continued, "We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts."

For those unable to attend, the Academy will accept the Oscar on behalf of the artist. 

The Academy's COVID protocol for the live show takes its roots in "treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability."

Protocols will also include specific instructions for those attending from outside of Los Angeles and those already in the city.

The show's theme was also revealed as "Stories Matter," with the producers asking talent to take part in interviews where they'll share their own personal stories. The idea is to connect each person's story on the Sunday, April 25th award show.

Dress code was also touched on, with producers telling nominees to avoid "casual" attire.

"We're aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not," the letter said. 

The previous award shows already held this year have given attendees the option of attending virtually from home, which has led to some stars appearing in more casual attire such as Jason Sudeikis, who previously accepted the Golden Globe in a tie-dyed sweatshirt that went viral in February.

The in-person event will take place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles with additional elements taking place at the show's traditional venue, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. 

The Oscar nominations were announced earlier this month and hours later the Academy president David Rubin revealed the show's restricted attendee plan in an email to the Academy's nearly 10,000 members.

Rubin wrote that only those nominated, their guest and presenters may attend the ceremony in person due to health regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"As a result, we will not be able to conduct our annual member ticket lottery," he said. 

In addition, the Academy president explained that all nominations screenings and in-person celebratory events like the Governors Ball and Oscar Night watch parties in London and New York will be canceled.

This year's Oscars have already proven historic, with the nominations marking the first time more than one woman —Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) — has been nominated in the Best Director category.

The 93rd Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, April 25 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

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