The 2019 Oscars looks set to take place WITHOUT a host this year.
It comes after Kevin Hart stepped down from the role following backlash over his past jokes about the LGBTQ+ community.
According to Variety, the Academy Awards’ producers are now considering the option of not having any single presenter for this year’s ceremony – and instead using various celebrities to emcee segments throughout the night.
The show will also reportedly focus on the year for music in film, with A Star Is Born’s Lady Gaga and Black Panther’s Kendrick Lamar among the expected nominees.
Hart stepped down as host of the Academy Awards just days after accepting the job in December, following the resurfacing of past homophobic tweets and his initial resistance to release an apology for them at the time. Later, he did admit regret for his “insensitive words”.
However, Ellen DeGeneres has since publicly campaigned for Hart to be reinstated as Oscars host, with the comedian promising he’d at least reconsider. He also did eventually apologise directly to the LGBTQ+ community this week.
FULL INTERVIEW: @KevinHart4real addresses the #Oscars controversy surrounding homophobic jokes he’s tweeted in the past, one-on-one with @michaelstrahan: https://t.co/H7qgNuSWji pic.twitter.com/OR7aiwpO8z— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 9, 2019
During an appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday (January 9), the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle actor told presenter Michael Strahan that he wanted to put the backlash to bed once and for all.
“There is no ending to [the controversy]. If you keep feeding this energy, then it’s going to grow. You’re not getting no more of my energy from it. I’m not giving no more, because it’s endless,” Hart argued. “I want everybody to know I’m done with it.
“It’s a choice that I’ve personally made to say I’m not addressing it anymore. I’m over it.”
When Strahan asked if there was still any hope of him hosting the Oscars, Hart was definitive: “No, I’m not hosting the Oscars this year. The Academy, they’re amazing people.
“The offer was made, it was received, I was excited this happened. it didn’t work out the way it should have. Right now, from a time perspective, I don’t really have time.”
The 91st Academy Awards will air on February 24, 2019 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on ABC.