With Kevin Hart unlikely to be replaced, the Academy is planning a roster of high-profile presenters, including actors from Marvel’s franchise
For some years, the Academy Awards have been seeking to shake up their annual telecast, in an attempt to freshen the ceremony and lure a larger – and younger – audience. Veteran producers have been let go; edgier hosts employed – and ratings continued to fall.
This year, however, a radical reinvention of the ceremony has been all but forced on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, following the decision of Kevin Hart to step down three days after he was announced as host in December.
Hart – an actor and comedian particularly popular with exactly the demographic the Oscars were keen to court – was reportedly told to apologise anew for homophobic remarks he had made in the past or quit his post.
He chose the latter, but speculation had been strong as no replacement was unveiled – and Hart did indeed apologise a few days later anyway. Last week, he appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’s chatshow and declared he would be open to a return, if only to “take a stand against the trolls” who he felt had hounded him online.
But the backlash to the interview was considerable, with many objecting to Hart’s appropriation of victimhood and DeGeneres’s agreement with his assessment that his detractors were simply “haters”.
Reports have now emerged in the Hollywood trade press that the telecast team have resigned themselves to the lack of a replacement and sought instead to secure the services of countless stars to act as awards presenters.