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Kevin Hart is Oscar's Host

by Murtada Elfadl

It has been a whirlwind 24 hour news cycle for the Oscars. First The Hollywood Reporter published a report that no one wants to host the show because it’s a thankless job. That article is irrelevant now, except for some prime shade at Neil Patrick Harris. Then reports started appearing that if he can fix scheduling with an upcoming movie, Kevin Hart is the designated host. Hart himself confirmed he got the job on Instagram a couple of hours later. Then almost immediately there was backlash because of homophobic jokes that he had made in the past. He has said in interviews after he was taken to task about the jokes that he won’t make them again.

This will mark Hart’s first time at the helm of the biggest show business awards ceremony, though he has previously hosted ceremonies like the BET Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the MTV Movie and TV Awards. He has been lobbying for the job for many years now. Frankly I have no opinion on Hart as a comedian and host. I have not seen any of his films and the few times I saw him as a presenter on the Oscars he seemed to have lots of energy though most of his jokes were about being short. Hopefully he can find a few other topics for this year’s big show. I think that he is a safe choice for The Academy because he’s both a comedian and a movie star (his movies make money), though definitely more exciting than another late night network star.

Tell us what you think about Hart as Oscar host?

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Reader Comments (49)

OMG!!!! not in a good way!

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Big Sigh ! So they couldn't come up with a woman? Seriously? Yeah, I'm getting a little bitter about this, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and so many others come to mind. And I still am bummed by the fact that Bette Midler never got a shot at this gig.
I'm sick of the tyranny of male comics.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

It sounds like a job no one wants, and who could blame them. Essentially, every year people are aghast at the selection of the host, and every year people deem said host a disaster in some way or another. There's no real benefit to it, so you might as well let someone who's worked with half of the room have a go at it. At this point, the show is what it is, a beautifully bloated mess impervious to change or the true will of the people. No use in pretending not to love it.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Someone mentioned Billy Eichner on Twitter yesterday and I fell in love with the idea of that Oscar telecast, so I'm afraid this comes as a bit of a letdown.

I like the idea of someone hosting who, if they weren't invited to attend/host/present, might actually be at home watching the Oscars.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I don't care for the "joke" about slapping down his son for acting gay. I just heard it today. But you could unfortunately find examples of homophobic jokes in most straight male comedians' history. With that said, does the show actually need a host? Wouldn't it be nice if they had a big opening production number that got everyone excited about the movies up for awards, then just have an announcer introduce the various award-giver combinations? Or is that just me?

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTommy

I have no enthusiasm for him. But I know the white gays will whine about him as a SJW choice for a host since nonwhite people are inherent PC option in elitist spaces. I hope he does well (which means not embarrass himself).

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I'm totally willing to root for someone who wants the job. As noted, Kevin Hart has tons of energy, and he was in that Jumanji sequel that was WAY more fun than anyone expected. I'm looking forward to what he does.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

He's one of the most annoying people in the industry. His stupid voices makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

Lady Edith -- apparently Tina Fey & Amy Poehler turned it down!

December 5, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Cash -- that's a good point. If someone wants the job, why not root for them? On the other hand, Neil Patrick Harris really wanted it and it was tepid! I always hope that Hugh Jackman will return but it would also be nice to try going without a host.

December 5, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think this choice is a direct result of flagging ratings the last few years. So the safe choice would be someone who's:

a. popular
b. charming/funny
c. experienced in front of large crowds
d. can ad-lib

Most Oscar hosts of previous years have b through d down pat, but they were mostly people who are only famous in North America. Hart's worldwide appeal should bring in more eyeballs.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Terrible choice.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Is this part of their plan to attract a bigger audience?

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

And the Golden Globes one-up the Oscars on the same day : Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg. I like that.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

I have no opinion either way, and this is how I feel every year honestly. Who cares. Even when they chose Ellen, who I like, it seems like a pretty thankless job. Look at the reactions already.

I just keep waiting for Whoopi to come back.

And Bette Midler would be great.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

He's not a great choice but I'm not outraged.

The host is literally the least interesting/important part of every Oscar ceremony.

He's only there to tee up the least interesting/important conversation after every ceremony: How bad were the ratings and whose fault is it?!

I still feel like the AMPAS should break up with network television and switch to a live telecast on HBO. Where they can go as long and highbrow as they want—Honorary presentations and the works. They need a more grown-up venue than ABC where ratings and advertisers aren't everything. Streaming (Netflix) would be a bad look but HBO is perfect.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

European here. Had to google him. I see he has done very bad movies and even worse comments on homosexuality. Good call, Academy!

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Not a fan of his, but I don't think there are many people who would want to do it.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

/3rtful. I have no idea what you said... please explain to this simpleton????

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

So... they want a host edgy enough to appeal to the people who care about the movies nominated but not TOO edgy who might drive away the people who have never heard of much less give a rat's backside about the nominated movies. And they wonder why this is a thankless gig.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOscar Geek

Ugh. I never knew the extent of his homophobic comments. I may have to boycott this year's telecast.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Sad but no one cares about the Oscars anymore.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFaye

But you could unfortunately find examples of homophobic jokes in most straight male comedians' history

So... IDEA... let's stop hiring straight male comedians? There's a whole world of people that are NOT straight make comedians. Just saying.

Also The Golden Globes just announced Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg... and they won this round by a mile.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

This is...fine. I get it, and his homophobic jokes are unfortunately par for the course.. Meanwhile, the Golden Globes have announced Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg as hosts, which is delightful.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I'm not a fan of Kevin Hart as I think he's nothing more than a one-note midget. Still, I think the joke he made isn't a big deal. Everyone these days seem to have lost their minds about what you can say and what you can't say. I hate political correctness. I'm sick of that bullshit.

That's why I left the Nine Inch Nails fan forum Echoing the Sounds because of left-wing extremists who go after anyone who says one bad word if they didn't mean to. I had enough and called someone a Nazi after being accused of misogyny.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

thevoid -- I agree with you... I've met Kevin Hart and he was a really nice guy. Yeah, I'm gay, and I'm sure what he said was offensive, but not everyone is going to agree with everything you stand by, nor will they always be politically correct. Everyone has said some shitty stuff before--EVERYONE. The constant outrage is so one-note and boring at this point.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Hurtful you are a mess.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJF

I guess I don’t really care who hosts the Oscars anymore. Not sure when that changed but I guess there have been so many duds

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I'm somewhat ignorant of the offensive element of Kevin - I've only seen him as a presenter of an award show, here or there. From those short moments, I have been immediately turned off because he comes across as trying too hard. I don't find him funny - I find him annoying. My hope is that he has an appreciation of film history and love of the movies. Maybe he will be amazing! :)

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEllsworth

This isn't about one or two homophobic jokes. It's a history of it which you can see on his social media. Anyone who passes this off as being PC is just being obtuse.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Ok Nathaniel, Maybe Tina Fey and Amy Poehler turned them down, but no other woman were considered ? Cast of Bridesmaids, (Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, etc) Cast of Hidden Figures, (Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae). Amy Schumer ?
Import some Broadway talent, Laura Benanti, Sutton Foster, give me a break.
And thank you Phillip, Bette Midler would absolutely kill it.

I'm just really tired of the continual use of male comics as the go to guys for this gig.

December 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Perhaps I'm to old but I do not get Kevin Heart tome his just the most annoying "comic" (the quote are a statement) in the last 40 years just Ritalin depraved no substance and worst of all NOT funny guy sorry to me this is another pathetic attempt by the Academy of catching the young crowd which they never will 'cause lets face it the Oscar are for older/gay/geeks who loves an overlong show....

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

. Fuck Hart and his homophobic ignorance. Imagine if someone had criticized their own son for acting "too black." Why the Academy looks the other way is almost expected, but to witness the ambivalence on sites like this (OUR OWN), is discouraging at best. I WILL NOT BE WATCHING for the first time since 1970. I guess we should all be happy Donald Trump hasn't been given the job.

And I'm sorry, but a writer covering Oscar news stating "Frankly I have no opinion on Hart as a comedian and host..." is inexcusable and lazy. And cowardly. Take a stand!

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Emma Thompson.

That is all

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

They'll never do better than Hugh Jackman--and whoever produced that year. It was the best show I've seen. The ratings may have been down since there was no true blockbuster up for the big awards, but you just can't do better than they did. Jackman is a genuine movie star, who is also great at all you need to be able to do to host--sing, be a comedian. How is he not our generation's Bob Hope?

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

I don't care if Kevin made homophobic jokes in the past. The reason I don't want him to be the Host is because he just isn't funny.

Why oh why doesn't Billy Crystal want to do it again? And Ellen Degeneres was terrific when she hosted it.

Maybe they should have multiple hosts like they did in the 70s.

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Oh... and LadyEve, there have been many women over the years. Not gender parity, but the Oscars has a better history of it than, say late night talk shows, or network news anchors. We've had Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda (co-host), Anne Hathaway (co-host), Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen Degeneres....

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

David, damn you. Emma Thompson would be a dream, now I can't stop thinking about it.

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterV.

He's not funny. not that every Oscar host has to be his hilarious, but being a comedian is his whole schtick and he fails miserably at it. The previous homophobia leaning comments are unfortunate but not outrageous. People do change.

I'm more offended by the fact the Academy neglects those who care most about the institution, and try to appeal to those who don't give a crap. If it were unapologetically itself rather than trying and failing to be more mainstream it might attract people simply due to succeeding on its own terms and not pandering.

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEoghan McQ

Wouldn't it be cool to have Cher host?
But I think we've seen the last of her at the Oscars!

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRick Gould

Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Whoopi, Bette, Ellen, and Hugh Jackman have all been targeted by the outrage machine for various dumb but fairly innocuous comments and/or jokes. I understand why they wouldn't want to host the Oscars. None of them need to. For Kevin Hart, it's a career boost.

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The big story after the Oscars every year lately is how shitty the ratings were. Hart brings eyeballs of people who wouldn’t usually watch the Oscars. They know people like us will watch no matter who the host is, so the host won’t be for us. Of course there’s better choices, but some of the suggestions on here are laughable. Not so much because they’re bad choices but because they’d never be chosen. I’m not even sure former hosts like Whoopi and Crystal could get the gig anymore, most young people have no idea who they are.

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMike Troutman

Honestly you can find offensive ignorant comments by just about anyone , including many of the alternative suggestions .

December 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

I heartily give a third for Emma Thompson. She'd be brilliant. They could pair her with a younger man -- Chris Pine or Jake. they'd be a hoot.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermikey67

Well the internet moves fast doesn't it?

So... who's everyone's pick for the replacement? My suggestion to get the young audience and to represent the 2 highest grossing films of the year? Letitia Wright and Tom Holland co-hosting.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Mike Troutman - your line of thinking sounds totally reasonable. "Hire a popular host who isn't a total Oscar fanatic so that the non-Oscar-obsessed will want to tune in." But when those popular hosts who don't really care about the Oscars don't seem to have any appreciation for the actual show, when they're main jokes are about how long/boring/drawn out it all is, can you blame the audience for thinking it's played out?

I suggest that hiring someone who's into the job - who likes the Oscars, who might actually be watching them if they weren't hosting, who appreciates the history, who shows real excitement - would be more likely to get average audiences excited about the Oscars than someone who's sole purpose is to be a big name.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

*their main jokes

*whose sole purpose

(I hate a typo.)

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

mikey67, I would be here for Emma Thompson paired up with someone. But I nominate the other Chris, Hemsworth. He has good comedic timing and would please the Disney\ABC folks.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Well this post didn't age well.


He's out.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatagonia

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