As rumoured, it appears this year’s 91st Academy Awards will not have a host. Variety reports that the annual awards show will forgo a host this year after comedian and actor Kevin Hart dropped out in the wake of controversial statements he had previously made on Twitter.
According to Variety, the Oscars producers will enlist “A-listers” to introduce the show’s segments throughout the evening. The site reports that “one marquee name” will begin the broadcast with a monologue that roasts President Trump.
Having no single host is not totally uncharted territory for the Academy Awards. 30 years ago in 1989, the show had no host, instead opting to open with an 11-minute monologue in which actor Rob Lowe sings “Proud Mary” with Snow White. It is truly a sight to behold.
So what’s going to happen this year? Variety claims that the show will feature a number of “starry skits” and also focus on the music-focused movies of 2018 like A Star Is Born (Lady Gaga), Black Panther (Kendrick Lamar), and Dumplin (Dolly Parton).
The last time the Oscars featured multiple hosts was in 2011, when James Franco and Anne Hathaway shared hosting duties.
The report also mentions that producers for this year’s Oscars broadcast are considering ways to “trim” the show, which sounds like good news. The new format minimises the emcee’s role, the report said, which might work to the benefit of having no host.
The 91st Academy Awards take place on February 24, so the organisers seem to be scrambling to get things together in the final weeks before the event.
Hart backed out of the hosting gig after people discovered years-old tweets where the comedian and actor made homophobic comments. According to Hart, the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize or step down as host. Hart initially said he wouldn’t apologize, but he later did, saying he was sorry to the LGBTQ community for “my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart appeared on Ellen Degeneres’ show recently, and Degeneres voiced her emphatic support for Hart to come back as the host of this year’s Oscars. However, Hart said in that interview and subsequent ones that he would not take on the job of Oscars host.
The most recent Academy Awards ceremony saw the viewership lowest in history, with only 26.5 million people tuning in. Presumably in an effort to get more people to watch, the Academy announced a “Popular Film” category, but it was scrapped in the wake of some amount of public backlash.