With no candidates available and just six weeks until the big night, the Academy announced that there will not be a host for the 91st Academy Awards. Academy insiders revealed to Variety that the award show plans to proceed without a definitive host. This will be the first time in over three decades that the Oscars will not have a central emcee leading the award ceremony and monologue.
Instead of a traditional host, the Academy plans on utilizing a handful of major celebrities to lead a variety of segments throughout the show. The show is also speculated to put a larger emphasis on its music performances. The Academy will likely try and utilize the talents of nominated stars Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga to fill some of the lost time.
The award ceremony has publicly struggled to find a suitable host since their initial appointed candidate, Kevin Hart, stepped down due to pressures over homophobic tweets and jokes made between 2009 and 2011. Since then, finding a host has been a conspicuous nightmare for the Academy. Many possible candidates for the position even began to publicly reject the possibility of replacing Hart. Things seemed so desperate for the Academy that many began to speculate that Hart might reclaim the position. However, now it seems that short of a miracle happening, the Oscars will be without a host for the first time this millennium.
The change to a hostless show may come as a blessing in disguise for the Academy Awards. Last year, the Oscars reported its single worst ratings in the history of the televised ceremony. It’s possible that a change in format is just what the Academy needs to bring in more viewership to the struggling program. The controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards may also garner previously disinterested viewers. At the very least, a hostless format should quicken the pace of some of the more redundant and uninteresting sections of the ceremony.