The red carpet has always been an iconic fixture at the Oscars, but not in 2023 as there are plans to swap the familiar scarlet rug for one “Champagne” in colour. It’s the first time The Academy has broken away from tradition since 1961, according to US TV channel ABC - but why?
Jimmy Kimmel unveiled the transformation outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, ahead of the 95th Academy Awards tonight (March 12). The comedian, who has presented the Oscars three times since 2018, joked with the crowd: “I’m excited, mostly about the carpet.
“[It’s] so beautiful, it’s a remnant, we got it for a very good price down town.I think this is great - people have been asking if there is going to be any trouble this year, is there going to be any violence, and we certainly hope not.
"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." Mr Kimmel was referring to last year’s Oscars scandal which saw Will Smith slap presenter Chris Rock in the face on stage.
The actor appeared offended by a gag Chris Rock made about his wife’s Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut after previously speaking about her struggles with alopecia. Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”.
It has not been officially confirmed whether Jimmy Kimmel’s joke about bloodshed on the carpet has any truth to it, but Oscars chiefs have shed some light on the transformation. Academy CEO Bill Kramer said the arrivals line will get a more "luxe" look in 2023, with red drapes on all sides and a Champagne-coloured carpet rather than the usual red.
According to the New York Times, Oscars organisers said they wanted the rug to be “mellow, like a beach at sunset”. The priority was a “soothing” colour that would not clash with the orange tent erected over the carpet to shield attendees from sun and any potential bad weather.
The Oscars 2023 will be held on March 12 - US time. Viewers in the UK can watch the ceremony live on Sky Showcase and streaming service NOW TV on Monday (March 13) from midnight until 3am.