September 27, 2023



Film Academy’s Governors Awards postponed from November to January due to strikes

Film Academy’s Governors Awards postponed from November to January due to strikes

While the non-televised gala dinner is organized by a union crew and may not have faced picketing from the striking guilds in November, it could have encountered other problems.

The 14th Governors Awards by the Academy, where Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks, Carol Littleton, and Michelle Satter are set to receive honorary Oscars and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, has been rescheduled from November 18, 2023, to January 9, 2024, in the hopes of a resolution to the ongoing actors and writers strikes by then.

Despite being a non-televised gala dinner organized by a union crew, which probably wouldn’t have faced picketing from the striking guilds in November, the event might have encountered other challenges.

The Governors Awards, strategically scheduled during Oscar season, have become a magnet for top celebrities in contention for Academy Awards. It’s a hotspot for stars to be seen, photographed, and mingle with Academy members, and it often draws more A-listers than the Oscars themselves. The steep cost of attending, $75,000 for a table or $7,500 for an individual seat, is usually covered by studios, who invite key contributors to their films, including actors and writers, to join alongside top executives. This setup would have been problematic in the current strike situation.

Additionally, two of this year’s four Governors Awards honorees are actors, Angela Bassett and Mel Brooks (who is also a writer), both slated to receive honorary Oscars. Keeping the November date would have put them in an awkward position, and if they opted not to accept their awards in person, it would have posed a challenge for the Academy. The other two honorees, while distinguished, aren’t widely recognized household names, which wouldn’t independently drive ticket sales.

In essence, the Academy has pushed the Governors Awards back as far as possible without losing its main draw for current movie stars: the opportunity for exposure before Oscar nomination voting, which starts on January 11 and continues until January 16. The 12th Governors Awards was delayed due to the pandemic, held on the Friday before Oscars Sunday in 2022, resulting in fewer notable attendees than usual.

The January 2024 awards season calendar is filling up with unusual rescheduling due to the strikes. The Governors Awards and the 75th Emmys have both been pushed into this month. They join a crowded lineup that includes the 35th Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 4, the BAFTA Tea Party on January 6, the 81st Golden Globe Awards on January 7, the 24th AFI Awards luncheon on January 12, and the 29th Critics Choice Awards on January 14. Additionally, the 47th Sundance Film Festival is scheduled from January 18 to January 28, and the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards will be announced on January 23.

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Ralph Calaway