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Thoughts on the Oscars Not Having a Host

January 12, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
90th Academy Awards Oscars

Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars following backlash over past homophobic tweets and it set off a series of events that cast the ceremony into chaos.

Hart sat down with Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan and made it clear that he’s “over it” and “not addressing it anymore” before stating that he won’t be hosting next month’s Oscar ceremony.

“No, I’m not hosting the Oscars this year,” Hart said. “The Academy, they’re amazing people,” he added. “The offer was made, it was received, I was excited, things happened, it didn’t work out the way it should have. Right now from a time perspective, I don’t really have time.”

The comedian previously went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which didn’t improve things and actually created more problems for Ellen. During the interview Hart had said he was “evaluating” his decision to host the awards ceremony and that he had previously addressed the controversial tweets. Soon after that, he took to his SiriusXM radio show and apologized “once again” for “remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community.”

Which brings us back to his appearance on the GMA show with Strahan. “It gets no more energy from me,” Hart said. “That’s why I said, for the last time, I’m addressing this. There’s no more conversation about it. I’m over that, I’m over the moment, and I’m about today. If it’s accepted, great. If it’s not, it’s nothing that I can control. Some things are left out of your hands. So I’m done with it.”

When he was asked what he would say now to a father with a gay son, Hart told Strahan, “Why do you have to prove that you are a loving individual? You know who you are, the people closest to you know who you are. You shouldn’t have to prove that. You shouldn’t have to justify that. That’s the position I’m in. I shouldn’t have to prove who I am, I shouldn’t have to prove the level of love that I’m giving.”

In terms of the Oscar hosting debacle, Hart is out.

The Academy scrambled to find a replacement for the actor and comedian and after failing to do so, this year’s Awards ceremony will reportedly not feature a host for the first time in three decades. The last time the Oscars didn’t have a host was the 61st Academy Awards in March of 1989.

According to Variety, the Oscars will take on a new format, with producers set to rotate the evening’s emcee duties to a selection of A-listers, like the cast from Marvel’s The Avengers franchise. The broadcast will also feature skits while focusing on music due to the success A Star Is Born.

It’s been a rough period for the Academy. With the ceremony facing both rating and financial troubles, they’ve made a number of questionable decisions in trying to improve the show.

Last year they announced a new awards category to honor “popular film,” which was quickly met with disdain. On top of that, money issues include a long-anticipated $388 million museum, set to open in late 2019.

The Oscar ceremony is in need of an overhaul. It’s relevancy over the years has taken a hit and more than a few point out that it’s nothing more than a ego boost for studios and actors. Jokes are made about its running time and it feels like more headlines are made about the movies and actors snubbed than those nominated.

All this has come to a head with the Hart controversy and deciding to go forward without a host. The ceremony has a long, rich history. Created to showcase and celebrate Hollywood, audiences would tune in to see the likes of Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Johnny Carson. With social media, the show seems to have lost its luster.

Does a host make a difference? We’ll find out but maybe it is time to lose that part and focus on the those nominated. When I first heard they were going without a host I was disappointed, thinking they missed a great opportunity to go another direction. The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that this is another direction that could change, maybe improve, the experience. I’m looking forward to finding out.

What are your thoughts on the Oscars going host-less? Ideas to improve the ceremony?