With comedian/actor Kevin Hart dropping out of hosting duties for the 91st Academy Awards, many are wondering who will replace him. According to a new report, one of the options that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering is having no host at all.
Variety reports that in this scenario, the Academy might recruit a number of celebrities and other “buzzy people” to present and send the broadcast to its numerous commercial breaks.
One source told Variety that neither the Academy nor ABC had a contingency plan. The next meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors, which was scheduled before Hart dropped out, will take place this Tuesday. The matter of what to do after Hart’s exit will surely be discussed. Having no host sounds like it is just one possibility that the Academy may be considering.
The 91st Academy Awards take place on February 24. For comparison, the Academy announced Jimmy Kimmel as the host of the 2017 show in May 2017, while Hart was only confirmed as the host for this year’s show last week before he dropped out days later.
Hart backed out of the hosting gig after people discovered years-old tweets where the comedian and actor made homophobic comments. According to Hart, the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize or step down as host. Hart initially said he wouldn’t apologize, but he later did, saying he was sorry to the LGBTQ community for “my insensitive words from my past.” He said he chose to step down so as not to become a distraction.
The most recent Academy Awards ceremony saw the viewership lowest in history, with only 26.5 million people tuning in. Presumably in an effort to get more people to watch, the Academy announced a “Popular Film” category, but it was scrapped in the wake of some amount of public backlash.