Here's Why the Oscars Red Carpet Won't Be Red This Year — Breaking a Decades-Old Tradition

The Academy unveiled a brand-new champagne-colored carpet for Sunday's Oscars ceremony

The red carpet is synonymous with glamorous entertainment industry parties, awards shows and premieres, but the Academy Awards are trying out something different for Sunday's 95th Oscars.

On Wednesday, host Jimmy Kimmel — who returns to the awards show this year for his third hosting gig — stood outside Los Angeles' Dolby Theater as the Academy rolled out its brand-new champagne-colored carpet, breaking a tradition of red-colored carpets that dates all the way back to the 33rd annual ceremony in 1961, according to the Associated Press.

"People have been asking, 'Is there going to be any trouble this year? Is there going to be any violence this year?' And we certainly hope not," Kimmel said in a clip of the carpet's unveiling shared on social media by the AP. "But if there is, I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed."

"This is the kind of thing you only see in Hollywood and every model home in America," the late-night host joked as the carpet was rolled out. "I've never really done play-by-play for carpeting before."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

A person touches the champagne-colored carpet for the 95th Oscars red carpet arrivals area as it is rolled out along Hollywood Boulevard during preparations for the Academy Awards on March 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Vogue contributor Lisa Love and Met Gala creative director Raúl Àvila served as creative consultants on the decision to significantly alter the carpet's color for the first time in decades, according to the AP. The Academy also decided to cover the carpet entirely to protect attendees from potentially inclement weather and incorporate an evening feeling to arrivals, which begin mid-afternoon in L.A.

Jimmy Kimmel speaks during the 95th Oscars Arrivals Carpet Roll Out at Ovation Hollywood on March 08, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Jimmy Kimmel. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

"[Academy CEO Bill Kramer] basically said that we need to turn this event from a day event into the night," Love told The Hollywood Reporter about the change in an interview published Friday.

"That's always been something that the Oscars has had a problem with ever since it's started because it begins so early in the day with the sunshine and the heat," she added. "But everybody's dressed up for a night event and they are there at 4 o'clock."

RELATED VIDEO: Jamie Lee Curtis Shares the Special Item She Plans to Bring in Her Purse on Oscar Night

While speaking with the AP, Love said there is no guarantee the carpet will remain champagne-colored for future shows and that it still makes sense to refer to it as the "red carpet" by default since the phrase has a close association with award show arrivals.

"Somebody's always got a way to find something wrong with something," Love said, when asked whether she and Àvila held concerns about potentially upsetting those who prefer the traditional red carpet. "This is just a lightness and hopefully people like it. It doesn't mean that it's always going to be a champagne-colored carpet."

The 95th Academy Awards "red carpet" opens at 3:30 p.m. EST Sunday, according to the AP. The Oscars ceremony will be televised live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at 8 p.m. EST.

Related Articles