Now that Kevin Hart has let it be known that he’s definitely not hosting this year’s Oscars, the academy has decided to not have a host at all, which will be the first time they’ve done so since 1989.
A selection of big Hollywood names will present awards instead, and there will be more performances and skits to make up for Hart’s absence.
But with the airing being a mere six weeks away, show producers are still trying to gather the A-list presenters, according to Variety, which they opted for instead of trying to secure another host.
The apparent scrambling comes one month after Hart dropped out of hosting after some old homophobic tweets he made resurfaced. The academy told the Philly native that he had to apologize, but Hart said he already had done so in the past. Then, hours later, he took to social media and officially resigned as host.
“I have made this choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” he tweeted. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
The academy reconsidered having Hart host after he appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and DeGeneres said she contacted them and requested his return. During that same sit-down, Hart questioned why the old tweets resurfaced shortly after he received the hosting job and called the timing of it all a personal attack.
Then during an interview on “Good Morning America,” the “Night School” star said he definitely wouldn’t be hosting the telecast, because at this point he wouldn’t have time to prepare.
The 39-year-old also said he won’t be speaking about the controversy anymore.
“I say I’m done with it. It gets no more energy from me,” Hart explained. “That’s why I said for the last time, I’m addressing this, there’s no more conversation about it. I’m over that. I’m over the moment. And I’m about today. So if it’s accepted, great. If it’s not, it’s nothing I can control.”
Hart’s dropping out of the Academy Awards comes at a time when ratings have been poor for the telecast and the comedian’s popularity was presumably supposed to bring in a younger, wider audience.