Cates: Execs discussing issue day by day, hour by hour

Looking to dispel any rumors about a possible cancellation of Sunday’s Academy Awards, Oscar organizers on Friday were quick to reiterate that the show will go on … for now.

“There are more rumors about the Academy Awards than about what’s happening in Iraq,” said Gil Cates at the Academy’s Hollywood Boulevard noon press conference. (Incidentally, the Acad always hosts a press conference on the Friday before the Oscarcast.)

In general, Acad prexy Frank Pierson, Cates and show director Louis J. Horvitz repeated the information first reported in Daily Variety‘s Friday edition: There are no mass defections; everything is going as planned, the White House hasn’t called to comment on the possibility of an Oscar ceremony, and the rate of cancellation is on a par with past years.

As for changing weekend circumstances, Pierson said he would not speculate under what conditions Sunday’s show might be postponed.

“As you saw on the last two nights the situation is so unpredictable that we want, like the President himself, to keep our options open and to be flexible,” Pierson said.

Cates also hedged bets. “Acad execs are in touch with what’s going on, and are discussing this day by day and hour by hour,” he said.

Asked about the mood of people coming in for rehearsal, Pierson said, “there’s a great feeling and respect for what the Academy is.”

As for the fans, Acad execs still haven’t figured out what to do about the ones that were supposed to be in the bleachers other than to guarantee them a place next year.

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