Oscars Considering New Date

The annual Academy Awards are typically held at the end of March. But it looks as though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might be looking to buck tradition.

This past week at a meeting, the Academy’s Board of Governors raised the subject of moving the Oscars to February, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

One of the main reasons for changing the date would be to cut down on the Oscar campaigns, which critics have charged have gotten out of hand.

Take the 2002 Academy Awards, for example.

Weeks before Oscar night, reports surfaced that Miramax, which produced In the Bedroom, had run a smear campaign against A Beautiful Mind, alleging that the film and its subject, John Forbes Nash, Jr., were anti-Semitic and homophobic. Some reported the culprit was 20th Century Fox, which had been vigorously promoting its musical, Moulin Rouge.

Although who was smearing whom when was at the top of the board members’ list of reasons to move the Oscars, moving the ceremony up a month would also mean that the Oscars would be broadcast during the heavily promoted February sweeps, allowing them to get a jump-start on competitors trying to steal their thunder, like the Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Although the change appeared to have the support of several board members, it’s far from a done deal. If it happens at all, it’s not likely to occur until 2004.