On Sunday, the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony aired on ABC. The event was predictably smaller due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there were still a fairly large number of people who attended the event. One major change in this year’s ceremony was that the Best Picture category was not presented last in a major break with tradition.

This is the first time since 1971 in which the Oscars did not use the Best Picture category as the final award presented for the night. No explanation was given as to why the Academy Awards decided to present the Best Picture award earlier. Many fans are theorizing that it was meant to be a throwback to the early ceremonies from the 1930s and 40s, which had a similar setup where people were at dinner tables in a banquet-style event. Others believed that the change was made so they could save Best Actor for last in an emotional finale where Chadwick Boseman would posthumously win for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Unfortunately for his fans, Boseman did not get the award, with Anthony Hopkins winning for The Father instead.

Many celebrities were also confused at the sudden change. Dan Janvey, the producer of the film Nomadland which won Best Picture, expressed his shock at the decision. “It surely was a surprise. I think a lot of us grew up watching the Oscars and have gotten used to that being last,” said Janvey. “It was incredibly fun that they shook it up, and I thought the producers did a great job making this possible for us to be in person and the whole Academy. As producers, it’s hard to imagine what went into the making of this show, so we’re very appreciative of that.”

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