Academy Award trophies
Academy Award trophiesiStock

The the 96th Academy Awards ceremony is expected to be held tonight. Pro-Palestinian protesters have called to interfere with the ceremony, using the slogan ‘No awards during a genocide’.

The protest plan for Los Angeles this afternoon is the result of several groups of pro-Palestinian protesters, including Writers Against the War on Gaza LA (WAWOG), Film Workers for Palestine, SAG-AFTRA Members for Ceasefire. The groups are planning a mass protest march in an attempt to draw focus away from the award ceremony, which is to be hosted this year by Jimmy Kimmel.

“We will not let people turn away from the atrocities in Gaza. We are taking action and making sure Palestine will not be ignored for some glitz and glam. Ceasefire NOW!” they wrote on social media.

“We are well aware of the protesters, we have a number of back-up scenarios we can activate quickly if needed,” a senior security official working for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told Deadline. “Working with our partners in the LAPD, we anticipate no problems or delays for our guests and nominees.”

Commander Randy Goddard of the Los Angeles Police Department, who is leading the LAPD’s security efforts for the event, stated: “It’s going to be our goal to ensure that the Academy Awards is successful, that guests can arrive safely and get into the venue. But, also, we are going to try very hard to make contact with the groups as they show up, and lay out the expectation that we as the police are here to support your First Amendment constitutional rights. Officers are working closely with event organizers and security agencies, implementing comprehensive measures to ensure a safe Oscars experience for all.”

The plans for the smooth operation of the event were not disclosed, but it is presumed that part of the preparations will include keeping the protesters as far away from arriving attendees as possible. The organizers did not comment on whether they had consulted with Israeli security services when preparing for the event.

Supporters of Israel have also criticized Hollywood for not sufficiently advocating for the immediate release of the hostages. Prior to the pro-Palestinian calls for ‘Action on Oscar Sunday’, Jewish American comedian Michael Rapaport joined the Israeli satire program Eretz Nehederet to publish a sketch slamming numerous celebrities for not speaking out.