The Oscars will go on, at least for now.
Producers of the movie industry's creme de la creme event said Friday that the Sunday live broadcast on ABC-TV will go on as planned, but they didn't rule out a postponement if events erupt from the war in Iraq.
"At a time when American culture and values are under attack across the world, we think it's important to honor values that reflect America's best," said Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in justifying televising the 75th annual awards during war.
Commenting on speculation that has swirled around the show since Wednesday, when academy officials canceled the red-carpet arrival event, Oscars producer Gil Cates said, "There are more rumors flying around about the Academy Awards than rumors flying around about Iraq. . . . No, the White House has not called us to postpone the show. They have more important things to do than that."
Producers said the Oscars have endured through World War II, the Vietnam War and the turbulence of the 1960s. They said the awards ceremony has only been delayed three times--in 1938 when Los Angeles flooded, in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and 1981 when President Ronald Reagan was shot.
Nevertheless, Pierson said, "The situation is changing swiftly . . . We will be watching what's happening [with the war] hour by hour."
The determination of postponing the show will largely be based on whether ABC will have to break in for news coverage. The possibility of a cutting in could present an awkward situation for producers and the network on whether to split the screen between the show and news, run a crawler at the bottom of the screen listing the awards while the report is on or even stop the show until the news update is over.
"If something of extraordinary news value [occurs] they are going to cut away," Pierson said.
Producers said as of Friday rehearsals were going on as usual, and they said they plan no major alterations. Stars receiving awards will not be prohibited from making political statements.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times