For better or worse, the host usually sets the tone at the Academy Awards, but this year, there won’t be one single person helping the ceremony along. The Academy definitely didn’t plan it out this way—here’s how we got here.
THE ACADEMY ORIGINALLY ENLISTED KEVIN HART TO HOST.
The comedian was listed as the show’s 2019 host this past December. “For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same,” Hart wrote on Instagram at the time. “I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s supposed to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”
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1st look at my design for the 91st Academy Awards. I think we can all agree that the world is filled with too many straight lines & rigid thinking. For this years #oscars I have designed a world based on the ideas of inclusion & community. The design uses warm welcoming shapes that will not only reach out & wrap around the audience but towards the viewers at home. We call this piece the CRYSTAL CLOUD. It’s only one of many looks for the #oscars on February 24 (a week from today). It weighs 1600 lbs & I can tell you (because we teched it yesterday) that it’s truly spectacular in person. Can’t wait for you all to see what we are cooking up for the telecast. Did I mention we have about 40,000 real roses on stage?
His time riding high wouldn’t last long. On Twitter, users began to resurface Hart’s homophobic tweets from several years ago, which made the man step down from hosting the extravagant gala.
Hart stepped down from the gig following the scandal, at first refusing to apologize, and eventually tweeting his apology. While some—including, famously, Ellen Degeneres—have tried to get him back into the role, Hart has continued to insist that he isn’t interested, as his pride was bruised.
Rather than choose a substitute for the talented comedian, the award show’s producers, Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss, have opted to forgo the role in it’s entirety. The Academy confirmed in late January that the broadcast would go on without any host; instead, they hope an all-star celebrity line-up of presenters and performances will do the trick.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, they’re hoping to get as many of the ever-growing Avengers cast onstage as possible. Buzzfeed News notes that Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson, and Constance Wu are all already confirmed to appear for the prestigious 91st Academy Awards.
This year’s design, called the “Crystal Cloud,” was designed by David Korins. Its swooping lines are meant to stand against “rigid thinking,” instead promoting “inclusion and community,” as Korins explained in an Instagram post. And suiting the lavish ceremony, the set is plenty extravagant, weighing 1,600 pounds and featuring 40,000 real roses.