The Academy didn’t have a Plan B for their Oscar host, and now they’re scrambling

90th Academy Awards (Oscars)

Doesn’t it feel like Kevin Hart’s withdrawal as Oscar host was kind of met with a collective shrug? I mean, it made headlines and people were like “good, he’s a homophobe,” but it wasn’t treated as a massive scandal or anything. Mostly, I think the takeaway is “the Academy needs to do better staff-work research on who they hire as Oscar host.” That’s all it would have taken – someone’s assistant doing a few hours of research online to see what scandals and controversies were out there about Kevin Hart. It also seems to be kind of a non-story that it’s been days since Hart withdrew and the Academy is still scrambling to figure out what to do. They didn’t have a Plan B at all. They put all their hosting eggs in Kevin Hart’s basket. Variety has some inside info on what’s going on behind the scenes.

Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday night, according to two insiders. The Board of Governors will convene on Tuesday night at a previously-scheduled meeting where the matter will inevitably be discussed.

“They’re freaking out,” said a top comedy agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity. There were no contingency plans in place by the Academy or broadcaster ABC, according to another insider. The show’s producers are back to square one.

Late night hosts might seem an obvious choice, given their national profiles and history with the show (think Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart and David Letterman). But the Academy is now said to be gun shy about going with someone anyone who might be too edgy, noted an industry source. Then again, going too safe could be fatal for the show’s record-low ratings — the telecast was watched by 25.6 million people in March, a 19 percent drop from the previous year. 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.

[From Variety]

“But the Academy is now said to be gun shy about going with someone anyone who might be too edgy…” Yes, lord help us if the Oscars host makes any jokes about anything other than the weather. I mean, I still think that Ellen DeGeneres will probably be asked to step in. I don’t want to see Jon Stewart host again, because he’s still on my Sh-t List for all the dumb crap he said about Trump and Trump supporters. David Letterman would actually be an interesting choice, but I bet he’d say no to doing it again. The whole “bunch of huge celebs” idea could turn out interesting, or a shambolic mess. I do feel like there needs to be at least one person “in charge” on stage.

… You know what? Just hire Jennifer Lawrence to do it. I’m being serious! Jennifer would do it better than most. Hire Jennifer and, like, a dozen women to just model couture and make jokes and introduce categories. Jennifer Lawrence, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji Henson, Natalie Portman,Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, and more – just invite them and let them riff, two at a time, on stage. I don’t know? My idea isn’t any better or worse than “NO EDGY KEEP IT SAFE.”

90th Academy Awards (Oscars) - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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53 Responses to “The Academy didn’t have a Plan B for their Oscar host, and now they’re scrambling”

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  1. KatieBo says:

    Just hire Tiffany Haddish. She’s a stand-up, she’s had a great year, she values her success, she’s funny and current and won’t do or say anything moronic.

    • me says:

      I don’t know. She purposely read the names of those actors wrong last year remember? It wasn’t funny and in poor taste. I’m not saying she wouldn’t be a good host though. She would definitely get people to watch.

    • Mia4s says:

      Tiffany retweeted in support of Kevin Hart and his decision to withdraw rather than apologize. So, why is she a good choice again? And why would she do it if she thinks Hart was in the right? 🤷‍♀️

      • KatieBo says:

        I didn’t know this! Luckily I’m not on the Academy Host Search Committee ; )

        Thanks for the info – I stand corrected!

      • Mia4s says:

        No worries. And to be fair you were right in your comment until “…and won’t do or say anything moronic”. 😬

      • BrutalEthyl says:

        If it’s true, Kevin Hart said he’s apologized already for the things he said. He made a good point in that people change, and he’s changed. There were a lot of things 20 years ago that were way different. Isn’t that what LGBT is trying to do – change people’s minds about gay folk? Well, apparently Kevin’s changed but people are still holding it against him from 20 years back. Forgiveness has become a negative in our culture.

      • eto says:

        It was ~7 years ago, not 20. Kevin was given a huge public platform w/this whole mess and he could have taken that moment to apologize FOR GOOD. I know he said that he’d apologized for the tweets, but where? This would have ended that discussion for good and done so much good for POC LGBTQ.

      • alyssa calloway says:

        Agree, where was the actual apology BEFORE he stepped down? I’ve found nothing but him trying to explain the jokes away. So much of this could have been avoided if he had initially said “I was wrong to say that, I’m sorry” instead of going on the defensive.

  2. Melania says:

    Seeing JLaw’s pic I realized how much I miss her (that look was amazing). I can’t wait for Bad Blood, the book was phenomenal.
    I’m OK with no host.

  3. Eliza says:

    ABC airs the ceremony… I could see one of their sitcom/ talkshow stars rising up to the occasion to make the company happy (owe them a favor maybe)

    One of the Jimmys? Kimmel over Fallon Id guess.

    Please not Ryan Seacrest!

    Kelly Rippa? And thank you for getting screwed over w costar a few years ago?

    Tracee Ellis Ross? I wish!

    Anthony Anderson?

    Randall Park from Fresh off the boat?

    Sofia Vergara? Or any Modern Family alum.

    • ElleBee says:

      Anthony Anderson unfortunately has one or two assault skeletons in his closet, so that won’t work.

      How about Hasan Minahj or Trevor Noah?

    • tuille says:

      Not Vergara! Her screechy voice is seriously disturbing & I’m pretty sure others too would skip the broadcast entirely.
      Ellen & NPH are No’s for me. She’s dull & any guy who’d wear tighty whiteys on stage & think it’s funny or entertaining is definitely a no-go.

      Yes for a Jimmy, Letterman wouldn’t do it + Me-Too would protest him over his affair with a staffer. James Corden? Craig Ferguson?

    • alyssa calloway says:

      Please, no Jimmys. Although I’m in the minority on this I think. I’ve never thought Fallon was funny and I can’t get over the Man Show (nobody needs to @ me and defend it as satire, I still don’t like it). Corden isn’t technically a Jimmy but he’s a James and he’s ok.

      I’m also in the minority not wanting Patton Oswalt. I have my own issues with him and can’t get on board with the great guy image everyone has of him. I’m hard to please, I suppose. Nobody is completely unproblematic and these are just personal opinions.

      Michelle Wolf, or Wanda Sykes would be good. I’ve seen Billy Eichner floated, but people find him polarizing. I guess nobody is going to be loved by everyone.

      Ellen is a really safe way to go, but I’m kind of tired of her being the only Big Name Lesbian people think of. Nothing wrong with her, but others are around too.

  4. Nev says:

    Wanda Sykes. Not Ellen again.

  5. Mumbles says:

    Would love Wanda. Would also like John Mullaney and Nick Kroll, who were very funny hosting the Independent Spirit Awards last year (but they’re probably too “weird” for the Oscars.)

    • ichsi says:

      Seconded, if it has to be guys, take John Mulaney and Nick Kroll! Kate McKinnon is overbooked at the moment but I’d love her too.

    • Yup, Me says:

      John Mulaney- Yes!

      Absolutely NOT to Nick Kroll- he’s like the human embodiment of ADHD. He is exhausting to watch.

  6. Chaine says:

    Why are they panicking? Isn’t the show like two months away? It’s not as if he left out the morning of dress rehearsal.

  7. Boodiba says:

    Just cancel the whole, stupid event!

  8. BrutalEthyl says:

    Anybody who takes the host position this year is going look like what they are – the second choice. Nobody likes to be second choice and I think they’re going to have a hell of a time finding somebody who’s not afraid of that label.

    But personally I couldn’t care less. I haven’t watched the Oscars in 20 years and don’t plan on watching this year, no matter who hosts. Sitting through hours of sappy jokes and acceptance speeches isn’t my idea of a good time.

    • Addison says:

      I thought this was for the Golden Globes? I didn’t realize Hart had Oscar appeal. I don’t find him that funny to begin with. I thought it was an odd choice. I keep seeing this John Mullaney being mentioned. Have no idea who he is. Don’t think he’s that funny either. Saw him on Fallon once.

      Guess I should pay more attention to Oscars vs. Golden Globes.

  9. Abby says:

    What about some beloved (and hopefully squeaky clean) actors like Tom Hanks and Goldie Hawn? Or Josh Groban?? He’s so funny and he’s been doing some acting lately. Surely there’s some charismatic “safe” host out there other then Ellen (who I love). What about Oprah?

  10. Noel says:

    I’m really surprised Lin Manuel Miranda isn’t being floated. He’s written for beloved awards shows (NPH for the Tonys) and is probably squeaky clean.

    Or Whoopi?

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    If Kevin Hart was their plan “A”….


    • eto says:

      Lala coming in with the truth once again!

      Kevin Hart might have been an interesting choice like 5-7 years ago when he was exploding but now everyone knows that he’s not funny.

  12. Sesame says:

    Watch it be James Corden or something who ends up being the back-up host.

  13. Blairski says:

    The Muppets is a suggestion that’s making the rounds. Before you laugh, just think about it – the Oscars are a variety show, and the Muppets is a variety show. Also, they’re clean but they get away with a lot of subtle digs because they’re puppets. I think it would be genius.

  14. RBC says:

    Two words: Wanda Sykes
    She would be perfect

  15. Annie says:

    Hire kevin hart’s wife

  16. KLO says:

    Jennifer Lawrence would be great, I think.
    I love her humor and when it is scripted, it`s gonna be even less “farty” than usual. Love her.
    She is also hella confident and would do great skits and bits with ppl.

    And the dresses she would wear!

    Just hire her already.

  17. Mina says:

    Why would Jennifer Lawrence (or anyone high profile) do it? It’s really a thankless job, no matter what you do you’ll get criticized, it doesn’t pay that much (for someone used to get millions for every project) and it gets lousy ratings. I think they should just ditch the host.

  18. Mox says:

    What about a fun but safe couple? Like George and Amal? Or J. Lo and A. Rod? Or Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard? It doesn’t have to be a variety show.

  19. Who ARE These People? says:

    Are they equating being hateful with being ‘edgy?’

  20. Natalia says:

    I vote Wanda Sykes AND the Muppets, trading off during the evening with a couple collabs thrown in.

  21. Nancito says:

    Kaiser wrote : – “Jon Stewart host again, because he’s still on my Sh-t List for all the dumb crap he said about Trump and Trump supporters” – so, what did he say about Trump and Trump supporters?

  22. U.S and them says:

    Michelle Wolf or Nicolas Cage.

  23. ChamomileLawn says:

    Samantha Bee’s tweet lampoons the academy perfectly.

  24. Emily says:

    Mindy Kaling is my dream host. She’s hilarious, self deprecating and unapologetically obsessed with celeb culture in the best way.

  25. Shannon says:

    I think Trevor Noah would be great.