With Kevin Hart’s unexpected departure as the Oscars host, the Academy is scrambling. They’re set to meet tonight to go over options. One top comedy agent tells Variety they have no idea what they’re going to do, but one idea is emerging as a favorite: No host. Instead, celebs would do bits and throw to commercials between awards and show segments. It’s not the worst idea; with no one wanting to do it and some hosts getting bad reviews before the show even airs, the Academy would be taking a major stumbling block off the table, and move closer to a format that might once again attract massive audiences. Viewership numbers have plummeted over the last decade.
That was quick: Comedian Kevin Hart is out as the host of the Oscars in 2019. There was uproar over previous tweets deemed to be anti-gay. Meanwhile, online videos surfaced of his 2010 act which had a whole bit on wanting to be sure his son wasn’t gay. Hart took down the offending tweets during the furor, but it wasn’t enough.
He at first refused to apologize, saying he’d addressed these criticisms previously. Then, without apologizing, he bowed out from hosting duties in the early hours of Friday morning. In a lengthy Instagram post and video he apparently took while lying in bed, he says he’s evolved, said people are just looking for things to be mad about, and is putting the entire issue to rest.
The Oscars had been struggling to find a host for its 2019 broadcast — but landed on Kevin Hart. Following lackluster ratings and the La La Land Best Picture snafu, A-listers aren’t clamoring for the top emcee spot.
The Hollywood Reporter says that everyone who’s anyone had turned it down, including Oprah, Justin Timberlake, Julia Louis-Drefyus, Jerry Seinfeld, and even Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as a team effort, who successfully helmed the Golden Globes a few years back.
The job requires weeks of work for a paltry low-six figures; the media, critics and fans inevitably rip the host to shreds; and the show does little to make the host more visible or famous.