Academy Postpones Governors Awards Ceremony Due to COVID Concerns

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has postponed the 12th annual Governors Awards ceremony as COVID-19 cases surge.

“We have made the difficult decision to change our plans in hosting the Governors Awards in person on January 15,” an Academy spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. “Given the uncertainties around the variants, and the impact this could have on our community, we feel this is the best and safest decision for our honorees and guests. Rescheduled plans will come at a later date as we continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of all those involved.”

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A new date has not been announced yet.

The Academy was set to fete Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann with honorary Oscars, and Danny Glover with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at an in-person event on Jan. 15, 2022. The ceremony is the latest event planned for early 2022 to face major changes amid concerns about COVID-19 spikes and the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

The Honorary Oscar statuette is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.” Jackson, May and Ullmann are all previous Oscar nominees.

Jackson earned an Oscar nod for his supporting performance in “Pulp Fiction” (1994), while May received Academy Award nominations for the adapted screenplays for “Heaven Can Wait” (1978) and “Primary Colors” (1998), and Ullmann nabbed best actress Oscar nominations for “The Emigrants” (1971) and “Face to Face” (1976).

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is bestowed upon an “individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” Glover earned the special honor for his work as lifelong community activist, and advocate for economic justice and access to health care and education in the United States and Africa. Best known for starring role in the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, as well as “The Color Purple,” “To Sleep With Anger,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Dreamgirls,” “Beyond the Lights” and “Sorry to Bother You,” the actor currently serves as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

The 94th Oscars are set to be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood on March 27, 2022, and air live on ABC. Last year’s telecast was broadcast from Union Station, as a concession to COVID protocols that required smaller crowds.

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