ABC Forced to Delay Oscars Start Time as Protestors Block Traffic Outside Dolby Theatre

Hollywood’s biggest night started a few minutes late.

Sunday’s Oscars ceremony was set to kick off an hour earlier than usual at 7 pm ET, but the ABC broadcast began a full five minutes later, at 7:05 pm. ABC declined to comment on the record, but a source tells TVLine that the start of the Oscars ceremony “was delayed five minutes to allow all of our guests time to be seated” in the Dolby Theatre.

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A possible explanation for that delay: Many Oscar attendees were caught in a serious traffic jam on their way in after hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors shut down a section of L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard, some holding signs reading “No awards for genocide.” The gridlock forced some attendees to get out of the cars and walk to the theater on foot, even ditching their high heels to get there faster. Just minutes before the ceremony was set to begin, “much of the ballroom is uncharacteristically empty, and people are running to their seats,” our sister site Variety reports.

Host Jimmy Kimmel even poked fun at the delay during his opening monologue, referencing the Oscars’ tendency to run late: “We are already five minutes over… and I am not joking.”

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