The number of A-list celebrities that flocked to the Golden Globes last month came as something of a surprise—though entirely understandable, for the many experiencing “Zoom fatigue.” Jason Sudeikis, on the other hand, opted to stay home, which evidently made him feel comfortable enough to go “camera on” in a tie-dye hoodie, making headlines and sending waves through Twitter. And while the Oscars are more than a month away, several of the show’s producers have already made it clear that they won’t be allowing any nominees to follow suit.
In an email sent by three of the show’s producers, Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh gave this year’s noms a road map of how it’ll all go down on April 25. They also laid out several strict rules. “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,” the trio wrote. “There will be specific instructions for those of you traveling in from outside of Los Angeles, and other instructions for those of you who are already based in Los Angeles. This will all come directly to you from the Academy to ensure you have a safe, carefree evening (a glimpse of the future?).”
Safety concerns are understandable. But the team behind the ceremony went on to potentially preemptively kill the vibe. “You’re wondering about the Dress Code (as well you should),” they wrote. “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.” (Apparently not even the whole selection of the sweatshirts in its official store is acceptable.)
But according to the producers, the formality won’t prevent the Oscars from being FUN. “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.” That’s just one of several all-caps words in the email, most prominently in the section about Covid-19. “Of course, your first thought is CAN THAT BE DONE SAFELY? The answer is YES, IT CAN,” they assured. “We are 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.”