The Academy Awards is the most prestigious film award ceremony in the world… but it cannot find a host. After Kevin Hart was announced as the host for the evening, homophobic comments he made resurfaced, leading to the downfall of the Academy’s plans for their host.
Following his resignation, however, it does not appear to me that the producers really gave it their best shot trying to find another host. Whoopi Goldberg, who has previously hosted the show herself, nominated Ken Jeong for the role as host, who responded excitedly, exclaiming that he would love to host. With the success of Crazy Rich Asians, both at the box-office and in award show nominations this season, this alternative idea makes logical sense.
Unfortunately, it appears that instead of finding another host, the producers at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have opted for no host this year, something that hasn’t happened for the last thirty years.
For myself, part of the appeal of watching the Oscars’ broadcast is the host’s opening monologue. Of the award shows this season, the Oscars host appears to have the most duties, as far as this viewer is concerned. At this year’s Golden Globes, Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh cohosted, giving a pleasant opening monologue, followed by short snippets of humor before announcing presenters, Taye Diggs hosted the Critics’ Choice Awards, and Megan Mullally will be hosting the Screen Actors’ Guild awards on Sunday, January 18, 2019. She will be the second host in the show’s history, following Kristen Bell.
Yet, somehow these shows fail to match up to the content that is important for the Oscar viewer. This host gets longer sections in between awards to entertain the viewers, which is important because by the time the Oscars airs, there will have been plenty of shows with similar nominees, and honestly, similar winners. The host’s reputation can boost the ratings, but I fear with no host, the show’s ratings are set to fall once again.
Apparently, the producers are compiling a list of A-list presenters in lieu of a host, which actually could be worse than a dull host. Depending on who they find, this year’s list of probable nominees (based on the other award show nominees this season) doesn’t include as many A-list stars as in year’s past, which can be refreshing when looking at the nominees, but not so much when looking to be entertained in between awards. Also, A-list stars aren’t always funny. Stylish, talented, and glamorous, sure. Funny… well, maybe the producers will have hilarious scripts for them to read off of the teleprompters.
As an avid follower of every award show season, I will be tuning into the ceremony airing on Sunday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. on ABC. Despite the lack of host, I encourage everyone to watch the show, if only to see if it turns into a trainwreck. Perhaps this experiment without a host will force the Academy producers to realize the very importance of having one.