Why the Oscars Won't Have a Host This Year, Explained
The Oscars have been dealing with quite a bit of controversy — and that's putting it lightly.
The short version: Comedian Kevin Hart chose to step down from the 2019 hosting gig following backlash over past homophobic tweets. After quite a bit of back and forth (and suggestions about who should step in for Hart), the Academy decided to proceed without a host, marking the second time the show has aired without one.
If you're looking for the fuller picture, read on for more — including the tweets that started it all and the scoop on what Sunday's show will look like without a traditional host manning the ship.
VIDEO: Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host After Outcry Over Homophobic Tweets
December 4, 2018
Hart announces he will host the 91st Academy Awards via social media.
"For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same," he wrote on Instagram. "I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it's supposed to. I am so happy to say that day has finally come for me to host the Oscars."
The Academy confirms the news via Twitter, writing "Welcome to the family @kevinhart4real!"
December 6, 2018
Hart's since-deleted homophobic tweets surface and he addresses them in an Instagram video, saying, "I swear man our world is becoming beyond crazy. I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now."
He continues, “My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago.’ Oh my God. Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people grow, change, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you.”
On the heels of the news, the Academy asks Hart to apologize for the tweets, but he refuses.
“The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times," Hart said, according to People. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’ve done it."
He continued: “I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old, when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life."
December 6, 2018
Just a few hours after refusing to apologize, Hart announces via Twitter that he will step down from the Oscars hosting position. He says his reason is that he does "not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."
Hart visits Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show to discuss what happened and DeGeneres comes to his defense.
“As a gay person. I am sensitive to all of that. You’ve already expressed that it's not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day," said DeGeneres. "You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let those people win — host the Oscars.”
At the time, Hart said he was considering his options.
January 2, 2019
The Academy is still scrambling to find a host — or hosts — for Hollywood's biggest night. Possible candidates being tossed around include Whoopi Goldberg (for what would be her fifth appearance), Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover and even John Legend along with wife Chrissy Teigen, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
January 9, 2019
Hart squashes any remaining speculation that he would host the Oscars during an interview with Good Morning America's Michael Strahan.
The comedian, 39, struck a defensive tone on on Good Morning America Wednesday morning, emphasizing that he was “done” discussing the topic. When host Michael Strahan asked if he would return to host the Oscars if asked, the comedian responded with a strong denial.
“No,” he said, according to People. “I’m not hosting the Oscars this year.”
He continued: "I say I’m done with it. It gets no more energy from me. 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. So if it’s accepted, great, but if it’s not, it’s nothing I can control. Some things are out of your hands."
January 9, 2019
It's not a surprising decision when you consider that the average celebrity said they would pass if offered a chance to host the awards show.
For instance, Emily Blunt told Variety she would not host the Oscars, adding "that would be the depths of hell for me.” And Melissa McCarthy said to Entertainment Tonight that she would opt out because she would probably say "inappropriate things."
The 91st Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.