As life slowly gets back to normal, we all have to make adjustments, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is no different. Having perhaps realized that following up the lowest-rated Oscars ever with another telecast 10 months later might be slightly gauche, the Academy and ABC on Thursday announced they were pushing the date of next year’s Oscars back from late February to March 27, 2022. Additionally, the COVID-era rules allowing streaming releases to compete will stay in place, while the eligibility period will revert to the Academy’s traditional end-of-year deadline.
The move to late March brings the ceremony back to where it was from 1989 to 2003, and that’s not the institution’s only attempt to turn the page on recent history. On Wednesday, the Academy announced that its post-#OscarsSoWhite expansion — which aimed to increase diversity in the ranks by adding nearly 1,000 new members a year — would be slowing, with the 2021 class roughly half the size as previous years. One thing’s for sure: Like Jack Donaghy, the Academy is trying to make it 1997 again through science or magic.