Throughout the ever-swelling migraine that has been the lead-up to the 2019 Oscars ceremony, which has struggled to find an acceptable host for a particularly delicate era, there has always been the nuclear option: Why not go with no host at all? According to Variety, that option has become even more likely a possibility, with one anonymous source claiming top brass at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is “freaking out,” especially post-Kevin Hart-gate.
If you’re only now joining us, the comedian spent around 24 hours as the official host for the ceremony, scheduled to air on ABC on February 24. Shortly after Hart accepted the gig — mere hours after reports that every person AMPAS had approached for the gig had shot it down — old tweets he’d made, in which he repeatedly used homophobic slurs, were dug up. (Hart dropped such language around 2011, around the time he was gaining mainstream popularity.) Hart subsequently turned down the job, albeit without necessarily apologizing for his words.
“My clients are bummed,” the anonymous source told Variety. “They’re bummed Kevin didn’t stay the course and serve as an example. It dampens the experience, hopefully [the Academy] can pull it together so we can focus on the excitement.”