It’s official: the 91st annual Academy Awards will be presented without a host.
A publicist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed to Fox News late Monday night that the show will indeed go on without anybody taking the helm as MC.
Originally, Kevin Hart was announced in December as the host of 91st Oscars, but quickly withdrew himself from the position after a series of homophobic comments and tweets from years earlier resurfaced.
Upon announcing his resignation, Hart tweeted, “I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
The Academy also announced on Monday the thirteen presenters who will take the stage to hand out Hollywood’s most coveted hardware: Brie Larson, Daniel Craig, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Evans, Amy Poehler, Amandla Stenberg, Tessa Thompson, Constance Wu, Maya Rudolph, Charlize Theron, and Awkwafina.
The last time the Oscars went without a host was in 1989. The ceremony was largely considered a disaster. Instead of opening with a joke-cracking host, the ceremony opened with a poorly received 12-minute musical segment. Afterward, a shocking seventeen actors and actresses, including screen legends Julie Andrews and Paul Newman, sent a letter to the academy condemning the show. The letter read in part:
“The 61st Academy Awards show was an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion picture industry. It is neither fitting nor acceptable that the best work in motion pictures be acknowledged in such a demeaning fashion.”
One can only hope that instead of the past being precedent, the Academy actually learns from prior mistakes and somehow manages to pull off what is increasingly seeming like a hail-mary ceremony.
The 91st annual Academy Awards will air on Sunday, February 24 on ABC. Until then, be sure to check out the video below, revealing everything from how much it costs to run a nomination campaign, to how much winning an Oscar impacts a film’s box office returns.