After Kevin Hart stepped down as the host of the 2019 Oscars, the Academy has thrown the kitchen sink trying to find a replacement. After much deliberation and nearly everyone (notable?) refusing the gig, the Oscars have decided to go host-less for the first time in three decades.
Hart had been at the receiving end on social media for his homophobic tweets that resurfaced from 2008 to 2011, after which the actor/comedian made the announcement during an interview with Good Morning America. Hart said he didn’t want to be the ‘distraction’ during Hollywood’s biggest night.
Former Oscar-host and fellow comedian, Ellen Degeneres, batted for Hart and conducted a half-hour special with him trying to get to the bottom of the controversy. During the chat Degeneres even revealed that she had reached out to the Academy, requesting them to reinstate Hart as the host.
Only six weeks remain for the Oscars, and it’s difficult for anyone who is going to sign up for the show to start preparing material for the evening. The Academy had previously issued an ultimatum to Hart asking him to offer an irrevocable apology for his hurtful remarks. Hart, however, remained adamant about his past comments, refused to apologise and chose to quit the show instead.
The last time an Oscar ceremony was host-less was all the way back in 1989. It was a significant year for the Academy, considering the 1989 Oscars were one of the most unanimously panned shows of all time. But it was also one of the highest-rated Oscar telecasts of the 1980s.
The Academy’s ‘Best Popular Picture’ category created quite a stir, and now with this controversy there’s a big question mark on the relevance of Hollywood’s most prestigious night. Those looking forward to a wisecrack opening monologue, will be disappointed. Here’s hoping the presenters will come armed with enough wit and charm.