The Oscars are a day away and are already coming under fire. The city of Los Angeles is being accused of hiding the homeless as Hollywood prepares to toast itself ahead of Sunday’s 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. One man told local news he was told to either move or have his things demolished.
The celebrity-studded ceremony is being held at Union Station in Los Angeles, an area bedeviled by homelessness. But on Sunday, the homeless will not be seen anywhere near Union Station, according to a report by Fox 11 Los Angeles.
“They came to us about a week ago saying that we had to move by Friday, 6 p.m. because they were trying to clean up for the Oscars and they told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff,” DJ, a man living in a tent in LA, told Fox 11. “They forced us to go to the Grand Hotel on 3rd and Figueroa and they kicked everybody out of Union Station so it looks better for the image.”
Attendees at the primary venue of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony won’t be required to wear masks when the cameras are rolling but will have to mask up during commercial breaks, according to reports.
Sunday’s 93rd annual Academy Awards on ABC will take place primarily at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, with some aspects of the evening unfolding at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and at remote locations around the world.
Attendees at Union Station won’t have to wear face masks while they are seated in the main show room and on camera. But masks will have to go on during commercial breaks and when guests move into one of two adjacent courtyards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the Academy didn’t offer an official explanation for its mask policy, the Reporter noted that under current Hollywood production guidelines, masks are not required for people on camera.
The mask policy was reportedly unveiled Monday during a virtual meeting with publicists and nominees. It remains unclear if masks will be required for attendees at the Dolby or remote locations. The move comes amid President Joe Biden’s public and persistent appeal that Americans wear masks “until everyone is in fact vaccinated” — which is a modified request of his original plea of 100 days.
The year’s ceremony is being produced by Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.
At a separate press conference on Sunday, Soderbergh reportedly hinted that masks would be visible during the telecast.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new diversity and inclusion standards for Oscars Best Picture eligibility.
For films to be considered for Best Picture, they must meet criteria that includes two of four standards: Standard A “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives,” Standard B “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” Standard C “Industry Access and Opportunities” and Standard D “Audience Development.” Each standard has criteria requiring the inclusion of people in underrepresented groups, including women, people from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, LGBTQ+ people, and people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
For example, Standard A requires at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors to be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; the general ensemble cast must include 30 percent of actors from at least two underrepresented groups; and/or the main storyline(s) theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).