The rumors have been out there for quite some time but today, they were finally official: The 2019 Oscars will have no host.
Today, ABC confirmed that there will be no official emcee for the ceremony this year after Kevin Hart bowed out following a social-media controversy. There were questions for a long time about whether or not someone would replace him, but in the end, there were two different things that happened here. First and foremost, this is just not a job that a lot of people want — it’s often criticized no matter what you do and there isn’t some great track record of social media being kind to the person in charge. There’s also another factor here in that nobody necessarily wants it to be clear that you are someone’s second choice.
From our vantage point, the Oscars not having a host is pretty bad. Why? Well, there’s nothing altogether specific for anyone to look forward to. You, more or less, leave everyone just floating around in the wind and waiting for something that gives them a reason to watch. Unless you love the movies, the host is often the draw. Without a good host, there is no draw.
In a new statement (via Vulture), ABC’s new programming head Karey Burke clearly disagrees:
“Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept them in the conversation … The mystery is really compelling. People really care.”
We do think that some of this is true — diehard fans of the Oscars do care. We’re just not sure anyone else does beyond the people who were already going to watch. Oscars fans are a pretty-devoted following and you probably don’t have to worry about them. The ratings for the show will probably be good, but we’re not sure that they will be great. There’s just that extra gear missing, and that is something that may be hard to rectify before the show itself.
Ultimately, though, we don’t see this as a long-term problem; it’s more something that’s just happening in one particular instance because of a specific series of events. Next year, we’re sure that the Oscars will, in fact, have a host; we just hope that it’s someone who will be universally appreciated and doesn’t have any controversy lurking underneath the surface.
What do you think about the 2019 Oscars opting to not have a host this year? Share right now in the comments, and stay tuned for some more news. We’ll have more as we near the telecast later this month. (Photo: Oscars.)