AceShowbiz - It's official! The 91st annual Academy Awards will go on without a main host after Kevin Hart stepped down due to backlash over his old homophobic remarks. A spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed a hostless Oscars, weeks after speculation about how the show will go on without a new host being announced to replace Hart.
Instead, presenters tapped to present the awards are going to take over the stage as the host. Those who have been tapped to serve as presenters at the event are Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Amandla Stenberg.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, February 5, new ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke admitted the controversy surrounding Hart worried her at first, but it no longer does. "I have to be honest - it did. It no longer does," she said.
Burke saw it as a blessing in disguise since the talks about Hart's exit and anti-gay tweets kept the Oscars in the news. She shared, "I've ironically found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept the Oscars really in the conversation and the mystery has been really compelling. People really care." She added, "... it's fascinating. That shows how relevant the Oscars are. I'm happy that it's part of the conversation."
Burke also claimed that despite the show being hostless, it would feature "an exciting opening." She coyly teased, "I don't know what I am allowed to say. I think I have to wait for the Academy to announce these things."
The 2019 Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The show will broadcast live on ABC.