A new normal. There will not be a host at the 2019 Oscars, multiple sources confirm to Us Weekly. This marks the first time that the Academy Awards will operate without someone guiding the show since March 1989.
Comedian Kevin Hart was originally slated to host the 91st Academy Awards, but he stepped down from his duties in December after homophobic tweets he wrote from July 2009 to January 2011 resurfaced.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s [sic],” the Night School actor, 39, tweeted at the time. “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.”
Hart appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday, January 4, and opened up about the scandal.
“I know I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I know that I’ve addressed it. I know that I’ve apologized,” he told host Ellen DeGeneres, explaining that he has already owned up to his shortcomings and is a different person than he was a decade ago. “I know that within my apologies I’ve taken 10 years to put my apology to work. I’ve yet to go back to that version of the immature version of the comedian that once was.”
He continued, “I’ve moved on. I’m a grown man. I’m cultured. I’m manufactured. I’m a guy that understands now. I looked at life through a different lens, and because of that, I live it a different way.”
The 60-year-old Finding Dory star, who is openly gay, told Hart that she wants him to reconsider hosting the show. “They can’t destroy you, because you have too much talent. No one can do that,” she said. “You have grown. You have apologized. You are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it.”
The Upside star seemed to consider DeGeneres’ plea, but ultimately decided to step away for good. “I’m over it,” he told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan on Wednesday, January 9. “There’s no more conversation about it … I’m over that, I’m over the moment.”
The 91st Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, February 24, at 8 p.m. ET.
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