For the first time in 30 years, the Oscars — more formally known as The Academy Awards — will be without a designated host. Instead, it will have selected presenters to introduce the next segment and award. More often than not, previous hosts for the Academy Awards would be top-billing comedians who are capable of providing filler moments in-between segments. Sadly, that will not be the case for the 91st Academy Awards after its original choice of Kevin Hart decided to step down.
Hart proved to be the shortest-lived host in Oscar history as he withdrew from the billing just two days after its announcement. This is due to the various homophobic tweets he had sent out over a decade ago resurfaced. He did have some help along the way from a former Oscar host, Ellen DeGeneres.
The interview was aired on The Ellen Show a few weeks back with DeGeneres telling Hart to reconsider from stepping down. While the acceptance from one of Hollywood’s most prominent gay celebrities is one thing, it’s something totally different when many viewers are still hesitant in thinking Hart is remorseful of his actions.
But how will this affect the Oscars? The last time it didn’t have a host to run the show was in 1989 and that didn’t end well, which ended up with various attendees penning a letter to the Academy, calling it an embarrassment. Without a host, it could be seen as a double-edged sword for the Academy.
On the one hand, the Oscars will now run much shorter than usual without any monologues or a host. However, after the 2018 Academy Awards hit an all-time low of only 26.5 million views, it needs the attraction of big-name presenters to bring back the viewers.
The American Screen Actors Guild (SAG) also have a bone to pick with the organisers for the upcoming Academy Awards as it’s allegedly trying to strong arm actors to appear only at next month’s Oscars. This is due to the fact that the annual Golden Globe Awards is held at the beginning of every year while the SAG Awards 2019 is slated for 27 January 2019.
“This self-serving intimidation of SAG-AFTRA members is meant to limit their opportunities to be seen and honour the work of their fellow artists throughout the season. Actors should be free to accept any offer to participate in industry celebrations,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement.
“The apparent attempt by the academy to keep our members from presenting on their own awards show is utterly outrageous and unacceptable. We call on the academy to cease this inappropriate action,” it concluded.
The Oscars is set to be held on 24 February 2019 and many viewers are waiting with bated breath to see what else will unravel once it starts to air.