Oscars show to go hostless for only second time
CGTN

This year’s Oscar ceremony will go ahead without an official host for only the second time in its history, an ABC television executive said on Tuesday.

Speaking just three weeks before the highest honors in the movie industry are handed out, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke said the February 24 event would forgo a host and "just have presenters host the Oscars."

ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co. televises the Oscars ceremony annually and is closely involved in planning the telecast.

Actor Kevin Hart poses during "The Upside" Screening and Conversation with Kevin Hart at 92nd Street Y in New York City, November 15, 2018. /VCG Photo

Actor Kevin Hart poses during "The Upside" Screening and Conversation with Kevin Hart at 92nd Street Y in New York City, November 15, 2018. /VCG Photo

Comedian Kevin Hart in December stepped down from hosting the Oscars after past homophobic tweets resurfaced. No replacement was announced but there had been no official statements on how the ceremony would proceed.

The Oscars ceremony has gone without a host only once before in its 91-year history, in 1989.

Burke said the decision was taken after what she called "the messiness" over the Hart withdrawal and an attempt to revive his chances.

Karey Burke attends The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 Women In Entertainment at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 05, 2018. /VCG Photo

Karey Burke attends The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 Women In Entertainment at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 05, 2018. /VCG Photo

"After that, it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course and just have presenters host the Oscars. We all got on board with that idea pretty quickly," Burke told reporters at the Television Critics Association meeting in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena.

She said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, had promised ABC last year to keep the telecast to three hours – about 30 minutes shorter than in recent years.

"So the producers, I think, decided wisely to not have a host and to go back to having the presenters and the movies being the stars," Burke said.

The Oscars host traditionally opens the ceremony with a comedic monologue focusing on celebrities, the state of the movie industry as well as cultural and political issues.

Best Picture Oscar nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards (Top L-R) Chadwick Boseman representing "Black Panther," Lady Gaga "A Star is Born," John David Washington "BlacKkKlansman," Christian Bale "Vice," (Bottom L-R) Yalitza Aparicio "Roma," Mahershala Ali "Green Book," Rami Malek "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Olivia Colman "The Favourite." /VCG Photo

Best Picture Oscar nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards (Top L-R) Chadwick Boseman representing "Black Panther," Lady Gaga "A Star is Born," John David Washington "BlacKkKlansman," Christian Bale "Vice," (Bottom L-R) Yalitza Aparicio "Roma," Mahershala Ali "Green Book," Rami Malek "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Olivia Colman "The Favourite." /VCG Photo

Burke said she would hear details from the show producers later this week but said there were plans for "a pretty exciting opening" to the telecast.

Mexican drama "Roma" and British historical comedy "The Favourite" lead the Oscars nominations with 10 nods apiece.

Burke noted that three of the other best picture nominees – Disney's "Black Panther," Warner Bros "A Star is Born" and 21st Century Fox musical "Bohemian Rhapsody" – had each taken in more than 200 million U.S. dollars at the North American box office alone.

(Top Photo: An Oscar statuette at the 91st Oscars Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California,  February 4, 2019. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Reuters