Recording Academy CEO on Postponing 2021 Grammys amid Pandemic: 'Nothing Is Set in Stone'
"The show's fluid, and we've done that on purpose, so that we can try to put on the best show," says Harvey Mason Jr.
The music industry awards show, which will be hosted by Trevor Noah, was originally slated to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, however, on Tuesday, the Recording Academy announced a postponement to March 14.
Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, recently told Entertainment Tonight that the decision was made "based on the decline of the health circumstances around Los Angeles and the country" amid the ongoing pandemic.
"It didn't feel like the right time to be having the show on Jan. 31," he said. "COVID-19 has had a big impact on our planning process and how we're putting the show together. As we move to our March 14 date, it'll give us a little more flexibility to watch what happens and to have more conversations with health officials and continue to evolve the show."
After the news of the new date was revealed, the Screen Actor's Guild Awards responded to the date change saying the organization was "disappointed" hear that the music awards show has been scheduled on the same day the SAG Awards is expected to air.
"We are extremely disappointed to hear of the conflicting date, March 14th, announced today for this year's Grammy Awards telecast. We announced the same date for the SAG Awards last July with the intent to give the greatest possible scheduling consideration for other awards shows," SAG said in a statement on Tuesday. "We expect the same consideration from sister organizations throughout the industry."
In his statement, Mason Jr. clarified that even the March 14 date is not "set in stone" — explaining that behind the scenes, organizers are deliberating whether to have an in-person audience, whether everything will be live and more run-of-show technicalities that need to shift based on evolving public health protocols.
"The show's fluid, and we've done that on purpose so that we can try to put on the best show," he said.
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According to ET, the event will now be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is situated nearby the Staples Center. Mason Jr. says the venue will incorporate rooftops and areas around the center, creating an "exciting look for the show."
"Right now we're not planning on anybody attending, as far as an audience is concerned. I think there will be more outdoor performances," he said. "I think there will be multiple locations, giving us the flexibility to have more than one artist at a time."
"We'll obviously adjust accordingly, but for us it's really about the health and well-being and safety of our artist community, staff and people working on the show. That's of paramount importance to us," added Mason Jr. "There will be live performances as planned now, but we don't know going forward what we'll be allowed to do."
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