Oscars ceremony delayed as Academy extends qualifying deadline

The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will happen a little later than initially expected, with the 2021 Oscars now officially postponed by  two months.

On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new date for the annual awards ceremony, which was initially scheduled to happen February 28, 2021. The Oscars will now be handed out April 25, 2021.

Rumors began circulating in May that the Academy Awards ceremony might be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced theaters around the world to close their doors and halted production on many films — some of which were expected to premiere this year.

The Academy previously extended the deadline for films to be eligible for Oscars. According to the new rules, a feature-length film must now have a release date between January 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.

The Academy Awards have previously been postponed three times: Once in 1938 due to flooding, again in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and then a third time in 1981 after there was an assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

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