The film world was taken on a pretty wild ride earlier this year, when the 91st annual Academy Awards bucked tradition and went without a host. According to new comments from those at ABC, that surprising decision might be here to stay.
During the network's Upfronts presentation on Monday (via Deadline), ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke was asked about the hostless show, and whether or not that trend will continue into 2020. As Burke put it,
“I believe we will not mess with that format to the best of our ability,” Burke explained. "We're extremely proud of how the show turned out creatively."
At the same time, Burke also didn't confirm or deny the idea of having past host Jimmy Kimmel, who recently signed a three-year extension of his ABC deal, hosting the 2020 ceremony.
“I’m not saying no to anything," Burke revealed.
As anyone even remotely tuned into pop culture will probably remember, the Oscars courted a bit of controversy late last year, when previously-booked host Kevin Hart came under fire for a series of past homophobic remarks.
“I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.’ I’m talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010,” Hart said in an Instagram video last December. “I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different place in my life.”
Hart ultimately stepped down from the gig two days after officially being brought on, and groupings of celebrities introduced the categories instead. The ratings for the event saw a 12% increase in overall viewers and a 13% in the key demo, with the previous year's Kimmel-hosted ceremony hitting an all-time low.
Deadline's report on the matter does suggest that ABC might not have a final ruling on whether or not the ceremonies have a host, as the decision is ultimately up to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
What do you think of the Oscars possibly not having a host going forward? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The 92nd annual Academy Awards are set to take place on February 9, 2020.