An Incomplete List Of All The People Who Don’t Want To Host The Oscars
When it comes to pursuing your dreams, many will tell you not to have a Plan B because a Plan B is for those who are preparing not to succeed. Sure, there may be a logic in this, but perhaps the same logic isn’t transferrable to the Academy Awards – you know, the biggest night in Hollywood’s calendar.
It looked set that comedian Kevin Hart would host the Awards for 2019, but when he faced a backlash after homophobic comments surfaced on the Internet from his previous routines in years past, Hart withdrew. And according to Variety, the Academy didn’t have a backup host to call upon after the actor pulled the pin. Not surprisingly, they’re now freaking out as they rush to find an MC for the 2019 ceremony.
According to two top comedy agents who spoke to Variety, the Academy may be forced to go completely host-free. Rumours are circulating that February’s 91st Academy Awards may simply see a huge bunch of celebs take to the stage, in an SNL-style skit. Other ideas include a “stunt like a group monologue.”
But as it draws closer to the date and desperation for a host intensifies, it seems that Hollywood’s leading men and women want little to do with the hosting gig. As it turns out, there’s little reason for stars to take the gig with the Academy refusing to offer an increase in pay, as they believe the gig is considered a major career boost.
When Jimmy Kimmel prepared to host the Oscars for the first time in 2016, he leaned into his usual self-deprecation style of humour. But what we all thought was a funny joke, was actually true.
Speaking to radio station KROQ in 2017, the host said, “I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this, but nobody told me not to…They asked like 14 people and they all said ‘No’, and then there was me.”
He then added that he was paid just $21,000 (approx. $29,000 AUD) to host – even though ABC charged millions of dollars per 30-second advertisement for the broadcast.
As the process of replacing Kevin Hart turns into the Academy’s biggest battle yet, here is the (incomplete) list of A-listers who have been very open with their desire to not host the Oscars.
Although it’s unknown if the Academy ever actually asked Winfrey to serve as MC for the annual awards show, the TV mogul told TMZ in December that she was not interested, responding to the gossip site’s query with a mere: “No.”
TMZ also asked Patton Oswalt the same question about hosting the Oscars. While the comedian said he would be interested in hosting the show in the future, he said that Tiffany Haddish or Billy Eichner should helm the 2019 show.
He hosted the show in 2009 to rapturous applause, but Hugh Jackman sadly won’t be taking the reigns of the 2019 show. Speaking to Variety, the actor said that he would love to lead the night again but can’t this year due to his schedule.
Despite dazzling audiences in Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt recently told Variety, “I would not [host the Oscars]. That would be the depths of hell for me.”
With a nod to the saga Kevin Hart was put through, Steve Harvey worried that the same backlash would strike if her were asked to emcee. “I can’t host the Oscars. Hell, if they won’t let Kevin Hart host the Oscars, how the hell are they going to let me host the Oscars?” he said last month.
“I don’t want to host the Oscars because I don’t want them digging up my past,” he added jokingly.
Lowe voiced the reluctance that sees many celebrities turn down the gig of Oscars host. Speaking to The New York Times, he said that Hollywood has a perception that the Oscars are “basically a show that nobody wants to do. It’s just really sad. But honestly, they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves.”
Lowe added, “Making movies is about the audience, and when the audience starts voting with their feet, like they have been, only people who take themselves so seriously and self-reverentially would be incapable of making the kind of changes that one would need to make to be relevant to the times.”
Dear @TheAcademy If needed, I am willing to host the Oscars as my character from “Behind The Candelabra”. #HereToHelp #HollywoodDiet pic.twitter.com/AnqpJ83Xrf— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 10, 2018
Echoing the sentiments of Lowe, Bullock said: “It’s a thankless job. No matter who does it. You get excited and then by the end they’re like, ‘It was long.’ You’re meant to make fun of people. It’s always going to go long. Book the Oscars for four and a half hours and let it be. And if it ends early, fantastic, have a backup.”
Legend seems to agree with both Bullock and Lowe, saying to The Hollywood Reporter, “I feel like it’s a thankless job.”
He added, “Nobody really wins from hosting the Oscars, it doesn’t really end up great for anybody.”