The show must go on, even without a host. That’s how the 2019 Oscars will play out, after an embarrassing PR disaster with Kevin Hart, who was hired by the Academy Awards before he botched several apology attempts for his past homophobic tweets, most recently saying being an ally to the LGBTQ community is “not my life dream.” Now, sources have confirmed that the Oscars will not have any host, per Variety.
Apparently, Hart is “100 percent” not hosting, and the Oscars couldn’t find anyone else suited for the job (who isn’t problematic). Instead, the Oscars will be without a host for the second time in history, as it did 30 years ago.
This isn’t a bad thing. The show will likely be shorter because of it, and there will just be more of what everyone watches for anyways: celebrities interacting with celebrities. The Academy is allegedly “scrambling” to find enough A-listers to introduce every segment and award when the 2019 Oscars go down on February 24.
Some people at the Academy are looking to modernize the shows in other ways, but there is reportedly a lot of red tape around that. “The people who produce that show are hog-tied by the Academy, who as a group are not willing to change very much. It’s hard to know how anyone in my community can really contribute,” an anonymous producer told Variety. The show could really stand to be evolved, which even its viewership confirms. Last year, 26.5 million people watched, which was an all-time low and 19 percent less than the year before.
This year’s Oscars were off to a rocky start even before Kevin Hart was initially announced and, subsequently, rejected as a host. Last fall, the Academy announced that it would be implementing a “popular film” category, which was met with much backlash by those who found it to be a sad grip at ratings and, even, offensive. The idea was, thankfully, short-lived. A month later, the Academy CEO Dawn Hudson shared that they were axing the idea. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years, including this year, and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years,” Hudson said. You can’t evolve without some growing pains, apparently.