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The Oscars 2019: To host or not to host?

The Oscars are the biggest award ceremony in the entertainment industry, but this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is facing problem after problem in organising the event.

When Kevin Hart was announced as the host for the 2019 Academy awards, initially the announcement was met with positivity due to Hart’s popularity in the entertainment industry, being endorsed by celebrities like Chris Evans.

However, it didn’t take long for the celebrations to turn sour after Kevin Hart’s past homophobic tweets and jokes resurfaced, forcing him to withdraw from the ceremony in December, despite the Academy’s efforts to keep him attached to the project. Since then, figures in the industry and members of the LGBTQ+ community like Ellen DeGeneres have supported Hart, saying “they’re [online trolls] going to win if you don’t host the Oscars”, and encouraged him to take the job back but he refused, stating he’s “over it”.

Both Hart and Ellen have been met with backlash, stating that Hart was painting himself as the victim, and Ellen was also supporting his self-victimization, instead of aiming to resolve the comments Hart originally made towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Since then, the Academy has failed to find a replacement host, and with the nominations announcement at the end of January looming, it seems that the likelihood of the ceremony having a ‘traditional’ host may be dwindling. In lieu of a traditional host for the ceremony, it is thought that the Academy is opting for a selection of stars to present instead.

Rumours of possible hosts and presenters are circling, with one rumour stating that the Academy is relying on the Avengers, and Marvel’s expanding universe of stars to help save the Oscars this year – by asking them to present the awards. As well as being one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, it would also be the perfect opportunity to promote Marvel’s eagerly awaited upcoming films, Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame.

Aside from the host-less ceremony, on the 14th of January, the Screen Actors Guild criticised the Academy for intimidating actors, by asking them not to present at other award shows, like the Golden Globes, before the Oscars ceremony, in February. Such actors include Margot Robbie who reportedly chose to present at the Oscars, rather than the Golden Globes.

This is just the latest problem that the Academy is facing with its biggest ceremony of the year, with declining viewing figures and constant controversy, it begs the question – what will happen to the most anticipated entertainment event of the year?

By Faith Pring

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