Eminem will skip the Oscars. The rapper will be on vacation March 23

By Brian Hiatt
Updated March 13, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

It’ll feel so empty without him, but Eminem is planning to skip the Academy Awards. Though Best Song nominees traditionally show up to perform their tunes, the ”8 Mile” star will be away on vacation during the Oscars, his spokesperson told USA Today. Oscar producer Gil Cates said that Eminem’s absence presents a dilemma, but that he has ideas about how to solve it. ”There’s no rule that the nominees have to sing or that you even have to include all of the numbers in the show,” he told USA today. ”I could do a medley or no songs at all.”

Meanwhile, Cates expanded slightly on plans for the March 23 telecast should the nation be at war. The show could be interrupted with war updates, or enhanced with a news crawl at the bottom of the screen, he told USA Today. He also told the paper that winners won’t be prevented from airing political views. ”I’d like them to focus on their work, but obviously things will be more sober if our soldiers are fighting.”