The Oscars Officially Won't Have A Host For The First Time 3 Decades

by Ani Bundel
Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The 91st Academy Awards are only six weeks away, which means it's put up or shut up time on the subject of a host. While everyone on Twitter and in Hollywood has an opinion as to who should host the Oscars this year, it seems no one who wants to host is suitable to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. (Henceforth AMPAS, because you try typing that over and over.) Instead there are reports, the 2019 Oscars won't have a host, making this the first time in 30 years the awards show will skip the tradition.

There were rumors of the ceremony having trouble getting anyone to agree to host heading into this year's ceremony, with an article in The Hollywood Reporter back in December calling it "the Least Wanted Job in Hollywood." By the end of the day, AMPAS had made a decision, offering the job to comedian Kevin Hart, who announced it via Instagram.

What came next was a debacle. Within hours, Twitter was bringing up Hart's openly homophobic comedy routines and tweets. Hart initially refused to apologize, then sort-of apologized, and then finally really apologized, in a post where he withdrew from the job. One month later, Hart went on Ellen, attempting to win the job back. It failed, and as of today, he officially withdrew from consideration.

According to Variety, AMPAS is not going to try for a new host.

Producers will select a crop of A-listers to introduce various segments instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers, said the insiders... As it stands, no new offers are out, nor are any expected to be made to a single potential host to fill the void

Instead, the show's production will take advantage of the musical mini-boomlet in this year's crop of popular films.

Barring an eleventh-hour pivot by the Academy — in the event that a superstar host materializes — the show producers are moving forward with a broadcast that will focus on starry skits and play up a high-profile year for music in film, thanks to likely nominees Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, and Kendrick Lamar.

As for how the logistics of not having a host will work, the show will follow the protocols set back in 1989. That was the year AMPAS brought in a new producer, Allan Carr. Carr brought many changes to the ceremony viewers take for granted, such as having presenters say "And the Oscar goes to...." He also eschewed having a host, instead, bringing in a mix of high profile faces and musical performers, which culminated in an infamous opening segment.

AMPAS has worked hard to have a host every year since. Unfortunately, this year, it just doesn't seem like it's going to happen, even though Lin-Manuel Miranda is *right there* for heaven's sake. Still, the anticipation of no host does mean this year's Oscars will be worth tuning in for, if for no other reason than to make sure Rob Lowe doesn't show up to sing again.

The 91st Academy Awards air on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.