The Academy is toying with the idea of having no Oscar host this year

Last week it was announced Kevin Hart would host the 2019 Oscars, and then about 48 hours later he dropped out after controversy surfaced over past homophobic jokes. His hiring was already seen as a late-in-the-game selection, and now word is the Academy is scrambling to figure out the situation, apparently even toying with the idea of having no host at all. (Psst, let Paddington do it). 

Variety is being told from sources close to the Academy that the organization was blindsided by the dropping out of Hart, hoping he would accept their ultimatum of apologizing for past jokes and tweets he made. But he didn’t apologize, instead taking to Instagram and issuing a long response as to why he didn’t feel the need to and would instead be stepping down as host. He did, however, make a small apology afterward, but the gig had already been left.

The Academy apparently had no backup plan for Hart dropping out, and per one unnamed source, they’re “freaking out,” about how to remedy the situation. Any of the late night TV hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert would be a safe bet, but the Academy is said to be approaching host selection with much caution, so as to not pick someone who may be too edgy. At the same time, they don’t want someone too safe, given that it could make the current ratings decline from last year even worse (the last ceremony had a 19 percent drop to 26.5 million viewers).

As a result, one option being floated around is to have no host at all, which was done decades ago between 1969-1971. Word is, the option is to have “a bunch of huge celebs, something ‘SNL’ style, and buzzy people” coming on stage to keep the show going at a lively pace, no one host spearheading the whole evening. The case can be made that the show already does that for the most part, with celebrities coming out to announce each category, with the host sometimes introducing them and coming back for gags that are often hit or miss.

Nothing is set in stone and there seems to be a mad dash going on to get something on the books. The ceremony is two months away on February 24, and a new host would have to go through a ton of rehearsal and conception of the night’s bits, so time is of the essence. Having a random onslaught of celebrities would keep the show moving, with some getting extended spots to do something funny, possibly featuring comedians like Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Tiffany Haddish, Dave Chappelle and anyone else they can get. It’s been done before, and though hosting is a prestigious gig this is the year when a shakeup is necessary. Fuck it, just get the cast of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR to present all the awards. That’s more than enough people.

The 91st annual Oscars airs live February 24, 2019, and perhaps with no host. 

Source: Variety



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