Despite the alleged “ultimatum” given to Kevin Hart amidst the outcry over his response to resurfaced offensive tweets, it seems the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t have a back-up plan in mind when the actor-comedian quit as the 2019 Oscars host.
The Academy has been sent scrambling for a replacement in the wake of Hart’s departure, but some reports suggest that they may just go without a host at all for next year’s Oscar ceremony — something that hasn’t happened since the 1971 ceremony.
Variety reports that the Academy was “blindsided” by Hart’s departure and are scrambling for a replacement, as there was no contingency plan in place by the Academy or the ceremony’s broadcaster ABC. Though the usual ideas were thrown around such as a late-night host, the Academy is wary of hiring anyone “who might be too edgy.” But then there’s the opposite effect of a host who plays it too safe, which could cause those already record-low ratings to take a hit.
So the Academy is apparently considering going with no host at all. Variety writes:
Another option being tossed around is not having any host at all, but rather “a bunch of huge celebs, something ‘SNL’ style, and buzzy people” to keep the show moving, the insiders said. A stunt like a group monologue was floated, one source added.
A host-less Oscars would solve one of the ceremony’s biggest problems: the excessive runtime. With the number of categories to be awarded and the amount of celebrity presenters — not to mention joyless gimmicks — the Oscars more often than not go over their anticipated 3-hour run-times.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Oscars went without a host. The 1969, 1970, and 1971 ceremonies all aired without a host and without a hitch. So yes, while it’s super fun and not a waste of time at all to see Armie Hammer break out a hot dog cannon in bits like last year’s “regular people” Oscar sequence, maybe the 2019 Oscars could benefit from trimming the fat and going without a host.
Surely the Academy will come to a decision before the ceremony’s broadcast on February 24, 2019.
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