The Oscars won’t have a host this year for the first time in nearly three decades.
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. The producers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, are scrambling to line up top talent needed to carry the telecast, which is just six weeks from airing live — on Feb. 24 — from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Hand-wringing at the Academy has been palpable.
As it stands, no new offers are out, nor are any expected to be made to a single potential host to fill the void left by Kevin Hart, who dropped out within hours of being selected when he refused to apologize for his past homophobic remarks that had resurfaced on Twitter.
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, one individual involved with the show said.
The idea that Hart might be brought back to host is 100% dead, according to sources close to the matter. Hart said as much during a Wednesday sit-down on “Good Morning America,” during which he emphatically stated that he would not emcee the broadcast.
“I’m not hosting the Oscars this year,” said Hart. When asked if he will host in the future he said, “It’s hard to predict what can happen.”
The Academy had been considering welcoming Hart back if he had used the opportunity in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres to demonstrate contrition for his anti-gay jokes and recommit to hosting the show. But his sit-down with DeGeneres, a sympathetic friend, backfired when he was made out to be the victim of internet trolls and “haters” rather than the perpetrator of hateful remarks.