The awards night was left lacking a compere after comedian Kevin Hart pulled out following criticism of past homophobic statements. It’s not the first time that Hollywood’s biggest night will take place without a host.
This year’s Oscar ceremony will go ahead without an official host, an ABC television executive said on Tuesday.
The February 24 event will see presenters double up as hosts, said Karey Burke, the president of ABC entertainment, which televises Hollywood’s top awards event.
Comedian Kevin Hart in December stepped down from hosting the Oscars amid criticism over past homophobic tweets, for which he apologized.
“After that [Hart’s withdrawal], it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course and just have presenters host the Oscars. We all got on board with that idea pretty quickly,” Burke told reporters in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena.
It’s only the second time that the Oscars ceremony has gone without a host in its 91-year history.
The last time the prestigious award show went without a host was in 1989, when actor Rob Lowe was criticized for his musical duet with Snow White.
‘Phenomenal’ line-up of presenters
Burke said her worries about the host-less ceremony have vanished as it comes together with a “phenomenal” line-up of presenters.
Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Evans and Constance Wu are among them.
Burke said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, has promised to keep the telecast to three hours — about 30 minutes shorter than in recent years.
“So the producers, I think, decided wisely to not have a host and to go back to having the presenters and the movies being the stars,” Burke said.
Mexican drama “Roma” and British historical comedy “The Favourite” lead this year’s Oscars nominations with 10 chances at glory apiece.
ap/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)