The Oscars will reportedly have no host this year after the fallout with comedian Kevin Hart who stepped down from the role over resurfaced homophobic tweets.
For the first time in three decades, producers will select A-list celebrities to present and introduce segments instead of having one person host the entire night, sources tell Variety.
With the 91st Academy Awards just six weeks away, producers are reportedly scrambling to coordinate the celebrity lineup for February 24.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences currently has made no new offers for an alternative host after Hart confirmed Wednesday that he would not be hosting despite a public push from Ellen DeGeneres to do so.
The last time the Oscars went without a host was in 1989. Instead, Rob Lower performed what was labeled a ‘disastrous’ performance with Snow White during the 61st Academy Awards.
This year’s show is expected to ‘play up a high-profile year for music in film, thanks to likely nominees Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, and Kendrick Lamar,’ sources tell Variety.
Hart confirmed that he would not host the Oscars during an unapologetic interview on Wednesday morning where he said he was ‘over’ discussing his homophobic tweet and had ‘nothing to prove’ to anyone.
The comedian appeared on Good Morning America where he repeatedly said he would no longer ‘give energy’ to the controversy which led to him stepping down as the host of next month’s 91st Academy Awards.
Stone-faced, he said: ‘I am done with it. It gets no more energy.
‘For the last time, I am done addressing this. There is no more conversation about it. I’m done with it, I am over it.’
Asked how he had evolved since his 2009-2010 tweets about ‘f*gs’ and disowning his son if he ever came out as gay, Hart would not be drawn.
‘I have explained how I evolved. I’m not saying how I’ve changed anymore. I’m not saying what I’ve done and what the new me is. I’m not giving no more explanation.
‘I’ve done it several times, I’ve talked about it. I am just done.’
Later, he said it was ‘your problem’ if his apologies, which after he stepped down from the Oscars instead of saying sorry, were not accepted.
‘I’m a good person. If you don’t see that, it’s a problem with you. I shouldn’t have to prove who I am, I shouldn’t have to prove the levels of love that I am capable of giving.
‘If anybody out there wants to think that Kevin Hart is such a monster that he wouldn’t love someone because of their choice in life, then all power to ’em,’ he said, giving his only promise throughout the interview that he was not homophobic as accused.
‘I am not over-delivering it, I am not overproving it because you find yourself in a position where it still won’t be received and you go, ‘What else do you want?
”You want blood? You want my arms?” he went on.
He would not agree to do the Oscars again, he said, because there was now not enough time left for him to prepare.
‘I am not hosting the Oscars this year… right now, from a time perspective, I don’t have the time.
‘You’re talking about two weeks that I would have to prepare,’ he said.
‘I like to call myself a perfectionist. I would want to make sure the production is a great representation of me and my talent.
Hart said that the backlash Ellen DeGeneres received for supporting him proved that there was ‘no ending’.
‘If you keep feeding this energy, then it’s going to grow,’ he said.
Hart was named as the host of the 91st Academy Awards in December. He took proudly to social media afterward to announce it but his elation was short-lived.
Within days, Twitter users had unearthed his old tweets and demanded that he be removed.
Among them were posts where he labeled people ‘f**gs’ and jokes about what he would do if his son came out as gay.
Despite the backlash, Hart refused to apologize and instead quit over the controversy, blindsiding the Academy and leaving them without a host.
He said the Oscars gave him an ultimatum; apologize or give up the gig. He chose the latter.