Oscars 2019: Academy Awards to be host-less after Kevin Hart’s exit

The last time the Oscars went without a host was in 1989, when actor Rob Lowe was raked over the coals for his musical duet with Snow White.

The upcoming Academy Awards show this year will take place without a host — for the first time in three decades, organisers said on Tuesday. “We can confirm that there will be no host,” a spokesperson from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences told AFP without any further elaboration.

The Academy was left hostless after actor and comedian Kevin Hart pulled out of the gig in December following a backlash on social media over homophobic tweets he made several years ago resurfaced.

Gala organisers who have been struggling to overcome a steady decline in viewership scrambled to find a replacement but finally settled for a ceremony with no emcee.

Industry insiders told AFP that the producers of the 91st Academy Awards on February 24 plan to try out a new format with a selection of Hollywood A-listers introducing various segments.

Entertainment President Karey Burke said on Tuesday that the “lack of clarity” over the ceremony kept the Oscars in the public conversation.

Burke also said the ceremony will feature a “phenomenal” line-up of presenters, with the advantage of nominees that are box-office hits — that includes best-picture contenders Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born reported nbcdfw.com.

The last time the Oscars went without a host was in 1989, when actor Rob Lowe was raked over the coals for his musical duet with Snow White. In recent years, several other hosts have also come under criticism.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris got rumbled over his 2015 effort and said he would never do it again. James Franco and Anne Hathaway were a dud in 2011.

The last two Oscars were hosted by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel. Whereas comedian Chris Rock emceed in 2005 and 2016, and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres hosted the night in 2007 and 2014.

The awards will air on February 24 on ABC.

(With inputs from AFP)

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