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Celebrities will not have to wear masks at the Oscars while the cameras are on — but they will need to wear them during commercials



Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

If you're a Californian looking to attend a social function without being forced to wear a pesky face mask, there's good news: All you have to do is get yourself invited to the Oscars on Sunday.

That's right, according to Variety, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that Oscar attendees in the state that has some of the most severe and onerous pandemic lockdowns in the nation will not have to wear masks during the telecast of the ceremony — well, at least as long as the cameras are rolling.

But when it's time for a commercial break, it'll be necessary to mask up.

What is this super-scientific thing Hollywood is doing?

Variety's Mark Malkin reported that Academy bigwigs told Oscar nominees and studio and personal publicists during a Zoom meeting Monday that it will not ask Oscar attendees to wear face masks as long as the live show is broadcasting this Sunday.

California's COVID mandates do not require that people on camera for TV or film productions be masked — which is a boon for celebs attending the Oscar ceremony at downtown Los Angeles' Union Station, since the televised event is being treated as a TV production.

But the Tinseltown gentry won't be allowed to be 100% mask-free — they'll have to don a face covering when the cameras are off, such as during commercial breaks.

Yep, according to the logic of selective state-imposed mask mandates for show-biz types, science apparently makes it clear that while the coronavirus cannot be transmitted while cameras are rolling, the same crowd is at risk when the telecast pauses to run advertisements.

Lest anyone think that the Academy is not taking seriously the health and safety of American society's royalty, fear not. The audience capacity will be limited to 170 at a time, and the event's planners have a very specific itinerary for cycling nominees in and out of the event. Also, temperature checks will be mandatory, and the celebs will be required to take at least three COVID tests in the week leading up to the Oscars, Variety said.

What about the disease-ridden media and paparazzi? Well, good news: There will be only three photogs and a limited number of press outlets allowed to do interviews on what is being called an "abbreviated red carpet." And to ensure that reporters' germs don't get on the celebs, there will be at least seven feet between interviewers and interviewees.

Plus, the lucky movie stars and directors will get to do virtual interviews with a select few hosts backstage, ensuring protection of the celebrities who just moments earlier were sitting in a crowd while unmasked with other unmasked attendees.

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