The 92nd Academy Awards, which will air at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT on Sunday, February 9, 2020, will not have a host. It is speculated that the reason is because of the controversy that abounded during the 91st Academy Awards in 2019, when original host Kevin Hart was found to have tweeted homophobic messages in the past.
Hart stepped down as host for the 2019 Oscars, and thus the 91st Academy Awards went without a host. The 2020 Oscars will mark the second year in a row when the Academy Awards will not have a host.
Let’s take a look at the history of hosting the Academy Awards:
There Was Major Controversy Over The Host For The 2019 Oscars
The controversy surrounding Kevin Hart and his Oscar hosting abilities began in 2010 when Hart released his Seriously Funny comedy special, during which he joked about how he intended to prevent his son from becoming gay. In 2011, Hart published messages to his Twitter account that joked about the LGBTQIA+ community and AIDS. The tweets became the forefront for the opposition of Hart hosting the 91st Academy Awards.
When Hart was initially announced as the host of the 2019 Oscars, he posted to his Instagram, “I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my life for a long time… To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced that stage is unbelievable.” It was this message on Hart’s Instagram that triggered an intense backlash on social media. Hart’s former tweets began resurfacing as Twitter users began re-posting them en masse.
Instead of expressing remorse for his past prejudiced messages, Hart posted to his Instagram and refused to apologize for his previous tweets. Ultimately, three days after being announced as the host of the 91st Academy Awards, Hart officially stepped down from his role.
Who Has Hosted In the Past?
Past hosts of the Academy Awards include Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Seth MacFarlane. Before the controversy in 2019, there was no host of the Oscars in 1939, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1989.
Ellen Degeneres was one of the most raved about hosts of the Oscars, as she was praised for her creativity and spontaneity. Notably, she took a selfie with several A-List celebrities in the audience, including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper. She also had pizza delivered mid-ceremony.
Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars for four years in a row, from 1990 to 1993. During this tenure as host, he received critical acclaim for his high energy and charismatic approach to hosting. Many critics have attributed the upbeat, energetic hosting persona to Crystal’s four-year run as host of the Academy Awards, claiming that his influence encouraged his successors to be equally as jovial and charismatic.
Of the over 80 hosts to have represented the Academy Awards, viewers have been polled to discern the best hosts, which have included Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart, Billy Crystal, Ellen Degeneres, and Bob Hope. Among the worst hosts of the Oscars are John Letterman, Chevy Chase, and. Seth MacFarlane. James Franco and Anne Hathaway appeared as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011, and their performance was considered to be the most awkward appearance given their intense lack of chemistry with one another.