Despite the commencement of the "Shock and Awe" phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 75th annual Academy Awards will proceed as planned, the show's producer said Friday.
"We're taking this day by day and hour by hour, but right now, there is a show planned for Sunday," Gil Cates said at a press conference with Academy president Frank Pierson in front of the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
There had been much speculation that the glitzy ceremony would be postponed, especially after actor Will Smith, who was supposed to be a presenter, backed out of the show on Thursday. And a slew of rumors circulated that Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, who are both nominated for awards, may also skip the event.
Kidman issued a statement Friday saying she would indeed attend the show. Streep is said to still be on the fence about the event.
Aside from Smith, Angelina Jolie, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and designers Matthew Williamson and Donatella Versace have all have pulled out of the ceremony. It's been rumored that actress Cate Blanchett may also miss the ceremony.
Only extraordinary circumstances would cause the Oscars to be postponed, said Pierson, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. However, he would not speculate how what would constitute "extraordinary."
"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. So I'm not going to speculate under what conditions we might or might not postpone," Pierson said.
Both Cates and Pierson confirmed that rehearsals for the show were going on as usual – and said acts such as Catherine Zeta-Jones with Queen Latifah and U2 were still committed to performing.
As for what Cates called "the dopiest rumor of the week" -- that the White House called to ask that the show be postponed -- he said that was utterly false.
"They have more important things to do than that," he said.
The Oscars have been postponed three times in its history: In 1981 after President Reagan was shot, in 1968 after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and in 1938 because of floods in Los Angeles.
ABC, which will air the show, said it might interrupt the broadcast for breaking news.