The Oscars are pressing forward without a host for the first time in nearly three decades. This year’s Academy Awards ceremony has had a very difficult time locking down a host and, just when it seemed like they had one last month in Kevin Hart, that rug was quickly ripped out from underneath when old remarks by the comedian that were anti-LGBTQ resurfaced. Hart then stepped down as host and recently confirmed that he is indeed not going to return to that post. As such, the ceremony will now go hostless.
According to a new report, the producers behind the The Academy Awards telecast are going to assemble a group of A-listers who will present awards and come together for various segments during the show. This, as opposed to having a single host handling the bulk of the duties throughout the night. This will be just the second time in history the Oscars will go without a host. The last time it happened was in 1989 for the 61st Oscars, widely considered the worst in history. You may remember Rob Lowe and Snow White? Yeah, it was that one, and it was bad. While some feel going hostless may be a risky, if not outright bad idea, media consultant Brad Adgate had this to say on the matter.
“Why not give it a shot? Things are so polarized anyway, any host that says anything will be analyzed to death. No host might be an experiment, and, let’s face it, the days of Bob Hope and Billy Crystal hosting are over.”
Even with the no-host format, which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to comment on officially, they’re reportedly “scrambling” to lock down talent needed to put the show together. But at this point, they don’t really have any further options. No A-listers seem to want the job. Just the other night Chris Rock took himself out of the running at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner.
“You should host the Oscars. You’re the best. Steve Martin should host the Oscars! Because I’m not doing it, goddammit! You’re not getting me.”
One of the biggest issues that needs to be resolved, not just this year but moving forward, is that hosting the Oscars has largely become a thankless job. Any A-lister who would be considered big enough to draw in viewers doesn’t have much to gain, save for a little bit of cash, from hosting Hollywood’s biggest night. On the flipside, if they crash and burn, they have quite a bit to lose. There is no real reason for someone like Chris Rock, Tina Fey or any other name who has come up over the last month or so to take the job. Especially with little to no prep time.
The other issue to consider is that the Oscars telecast has suffered a decline in ratings in recent years. Without a big name host to draw viewers in, things could get worse in that department this year. For better or for worse, this could wind up being an Academy Awards to remember. The Oscar nominations are set to be revealed on January 22, with the 91st annual Oscars telecast scheduled for Sunday, February 24. This news was first reported by Variety.