Honorary Oscars gala postponed until January amid actors and writers strikes
LOS ANGELES, United States—The Governors Awards gala, at which honorary Oscars are handed out for lifetime achievement, has been pushed back from November to January, organizers said Wednesday, Sept. 6, as Hollywood reels from the ongoing actors and writers strikes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, had initially planned the ceremony for Nov. 18, with US comic Mel Brooks and actress Angela Bassett to be honored.
But on Wednesday, the Academy offered the new date without explanation, simply referring to the event as “rescheduled.”
It was the latest high-profile casualty on Hollywood’s calendar as the crippling industry-wide strikes drag on with no resolution in sight.
The Emmy Awards, television’s equivalent of the Oscars, were postponed by nearly four months to January, and several high-profile films including “Dune: Part Two” have seen their release dates delayed.
Writers walked off the job in May, followed by actors in July. Both unions are asking for better pay, and guarantees that artificial intelligence will not steal their jobs and income, among other demands.
The ongoing walkout by both actors and writers, the first in more than 60 years, would likely prevent the honorees from attending the Governors Awards.
The strikes have halted production on many studio films and television series, and also have kept most actors from hitting the red carpet at film festivals and other events.
The 97-year-old Brooks—a prolific actor, producer and lyricist—memorably sent up Adolf Hitler in his seminal Oscar-winning satire “The Producers,” exposed racial bigotry in “Blazing Saddles,” and lampooned horror flicks in “Young Frankenstein.”
He is already one of the few entertainers to win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy—collectively called an “EGOT”—across a career spanning eight decades.
Bassett, 65, has been nominated twice for Oscars—she earned a nod for portraying Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and earlier this year became the first actor ever nominated for a Marvel superhero film, with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
The Governors Awards were spun off into a separate event in 2009 to declutter the main Oscars gala’s packed schedule.
Last November, honorees included Michael J. Fox, who received the Jean Hersholt statuette, which is specifically for humanitarian work by a film industry figure.
This time around, that award goes to Michelle Satter, founding senior director of the Sundance Institute’s Artist Programs, which help foster the early careers of filmmakers, especially from underrepresented communities.
A fourth honorary Oscar will go to “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” editor Carol Littleton. /ra