Oscars 2021: Questlove and Dream Hampton Join Ceremony Production Team; Academy May Compromise on In-Person Nominee Mandate

Ahmir “ Questlove” Thompson, left, attends “Hip Hop: Songs That Shook America” on September 13, 2019; Oscar Statue at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball press preview on January 31, 2020; Dream Hampton at The Relevance Conference on Rich Polk/Getty Images for Xandr.
Ahmir “ Questlove” Thompson, left, attends “Hip Hop: Songs That Shook America” on September 13, 2019; Oscar Statue at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball press preview on January 31, 2020; Dream Hampton at The Relevance Conference on Rich Polk/Getty Images for Xandr.
Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for Tribeca TV Festival (Getty Images), Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images), Rich Polk/Getty Images for Xandr (Getty Images)

March is coming to a close, which means next month is the official countdown to the Oscars! Yes, I know that’s weird because typically when March is ending, the Oscars have already come and gone. Anything can happen in a post-2020 world, though!

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Anyway, we have quite a bit to brief you on as we gear up for film’s biggest night of the year. First of all, the majority of the ceremony won’t take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood per usual and will instead take place at Union Station in downtown L.A. I guess that leaves more room for proper social distancing! Word on the street is that Dolby Theatre space may possibly be used for the live performances, specifically.

Oh, and in case you missed it, we already got you on the Black-ass Oscar nominees to keep your eyes on.

As for the rest...

Producing During a Panny

Questlove (as music director) and dream hampton (as writer) have been named as additional members of the 2021 ceremony production team, which was announced by producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh last week. Other Black production team members include Rodney Barnes (writer), Jeannae Rouzan-Clay (co-producer), Mitchell Marchand III (writer), Dionne Harmon (co-producer), Amberia Allen (writer),

Marchand was particularly excited to announce on Twitter that he will be returning as a writer for this year’s ceremony.

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Academy Host Avengers? Assemble!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided not to go with a single host this year and are on the search for possible talent to split the duties as award presenters instead, Deadline announced last week.

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Give Us Some Slack on Those Stipulations

Always known for its stiff rules, the Academy announced mid-month that since it wouldn’t be joining the virtual ceremony party like its industry counterparts, there was a confirmed rule that nominees must participate in the ceremony in-person or not at all. Yikes!

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Well, since COVID-19 rates have spiked in Europe and there are global concerns/travel restrictions (not to mention we’re not even close to a status of “herd immunity” with the ongoing vaccine rollout yet), the Academy received criticism from nominees and distributors for the strict mandate. Sooooo, according to The Hollywood Reporter, show producers have reportedly planned to hold a “conversation” over Zoom on Tuesday where they may be given “updates about the show,” which may include remote participation in the ceremony.

Sources tell The Root that there will be a central hub in the United Kingdom and will provide very limited Zoom options for overseas nominees. For those attending the ceremony in-person, they will adhere to a 10-day quarantine, which may be subject to change based on future conversations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a mask and maintain a low-risk lifestyle during the quarantine period. As for the telecast, sources say the Academy plans to make the show “like a film” and while it won’t rule out Zoom capability, it is striving to avoid it to keep a sense of “community.” The source also added that there will be a “red carpet aspect” that isn’t like the “traditional” red carpet of previous ceremonies.

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And there you have it! We’ll keep an eye out for any other major changes leading up to the ceremony, which…here’s the final bit of information so you can mark your calendars: The 93rd Oscars will air live April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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