The show must go on, unless the world is at war!

Oscar Officials See Show Going on Despite War Talk
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Despite talk of a looming U.S. war with Iraq, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has adopted an old showbiz tradition and plans for the Oscar show to go on, the Academy’s president said on Tuesday.
The Oscars, or Academy Awards, are the U.S. film industry’s top honors handed out each year by the Academy, and the awards ceremony will take place this year on Sunday, March 23, around the time many analysts believe the United States could strike Iraq.
The event is scheduled to be telecast by the ABC network, a unit of Walt Disney Co.
Annually, the movie industry’s biggest stars turn out for the gala ceremony in downtown Hollywood, and security will be tighter than ever, said Academy President Frank Pierson.
At today’s nominations announcement, Pierson told reporters that the budget for securing the Kodak Theater where the event will be held would be double that of more normal years.
But when asked whether a breakout of war would cause the Academy to cancel the show, Pierson replied: “I don’t anticipate that.”
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, officials last year closed off air space over downtown Hollywood. Concrete barricades blocked the entrance to the Kodak Theater, and part of Hollywood Boulevard was shut down.
Pierson said the Academy plans to focus the Oscar show on a celebration of its own 75-year history and how the movie industry has changed over that period. Nothing is planned to acknowledge how the world outside Hollywood has changed since Sept. 11, he said.
“I don’t think there will be any special mark of that …. I don’t see any need to,” he said.
But there may be acceptance speeches in which celebrities or other winners take advantage of a live television broadcast to talk about political issues and, possibly, make anti-war statements, he said.
Often winners will address political issues at the Oscars because the telecast reaches an estimated audience of 1 billion viewers, making it a huge platform from which to speak out.
“That’s always something that can happen. One of the most interesting things about the Oscars are the unexpected things that happen …. I welcome that kind of excitement,” Pierson said.
“Mostly what we ask them to do is to keep their speeches under 45 seconds,” he added.