After several weeks of scrambling to find a replacement for actor and comedian Kevin Hart, who stepped down following backlash over past homophobic tweets, the Academy opted to forgo having a host for the first time since 1989.
Suggestions were made for replacement hosts, but according to Variety, the Oscars decided to try a new format without a host. Award show producers are set to delegate emcee roles to select A-listers who would introduce various segments. A production insider shared that the broadcast will also include skits and musical segments to fill in the voids of not having a host.
Karey Burke, entertainment chief at ABC, stated during a recent press tour, “The producers, I think, wisely decided not to have a host and to go back to having the presenters and the movies be the stars, and that will be the best way that we kind of keep the show at a brisk three hours.” The Academy announced last year that the show would be limited to three hours due to declining viewership.
The last and only other time the Oscars went hostless was back in 1989, when an actress dressed as Snow White and actor Rob Lowe, as her Prince Charming, performed a 15-minute opening musical number that apparently left the audience disgusted. ”The show itself looked like a gay bar mitzvah,” actress, Eileen Bowman, recalled to the Hollywood Reporter in 2013.
Will you be tuning in to the Oscars this year?