When it came to finding a new host for the Academy Awards, it’s safe to say that a star was not born. According to TVLine, a spokesperson for The Academy has officially confirmed that there will be no host for the evening, breaking a long-standing tradition. While it was initially announced that Jumanji star Kevin Hart would be hosting, he formally stepped down after homophobic tweets written by him years prior had resurfaced online. While many had plenty of suggestions as to who should emcee the evening (Billy Eichner!), it looks like the celebrities in the audience will get the night off from a jab-worthy monologue and a free pizza gag.
Going host-less is an interesting choice for the Oscars, which have been desperately trying to switch things up for the antiquated ceremony. Last year, they announced their desire to introduce a Popular Film category, but after some controversy from both the members of the Academy and audiences themselves, they decided to pull it. It’s worth noting though, that by not having a host, the show could result in a shorter running time, which has long been a complaint about the three-plus hour ceremony.
Last year’s Oscars, which sent The Shape of Water home with Best Picture, were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row. While an overall enjoyable show, the evening hit an all-time low in the ratings with 24.4 million total viewers. Prior to Kimmel, Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, and Seth MacFarlane all hosted.
What do you think about the Oscars not having a host this year? Will you miss the opening monologue? Be sure to tune into The 91st Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8/7c on ABC.