Yesterday, Hollywood was all abuzz about who would host the 2018 Oscars. THR declared it a thankless gig that’s seen a slew of likeable stars (and James Franco) flounder. And Twitter was abuzz with great suggestions.
I own several tuxedos https://t.co/pDw4wXPTOC— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) December 5, 2018
Sandra Bullock should host the Oscars. I say this every year, but she's given a million skilled, funny speeches, she's got Hollywood Gravitas, she'd be good.— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) December 5, 2018
I don't even know why we're discussing who should host the Oscars. Either no one, or these two: pic.twitter.com/R1T07eaHt0— Sarah (@Cinesnark) December 4, 2018
PS. in all seriousness, let these angels host the Oscars you cowards pic.twitter.com/uVj3mlhQuz— Cam Williams (@MrCamW) December 4, 2018
Look within your hearts, my friends. You know who should host the Oscars. pic.twitter.com/LhtfdDGj3U— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) December 4, 2018
Let me add my vote: Patton Oswald to host the Oscars. A perfect fit.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 4, 2018
Thank you Stephen Kind! https://t.co/sYaqQrWohY— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) December 4, 2018
By nightfall, the online fun had been had. So it was apparently time to make an announcement and bring an end to the speculation. Through Instagram, comedian Kevin Hart revealed he would host the 90th Academy Awards.
For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars
In retrospect, it seemed THR was aware when they ran their Who Could Possibly piece, which included this curious bit: “So who’s right for the job? Kevin Hart is funny without being tasteless; Sarah Silverman is tasteless without always being funny. Tiffany Haddish? Academy toppers quivered with rage when she mispronounced names at last January’s nominees’ announcement.”
First off, Haddish would have been a phenomenal host. She knows how to deliver a speech that is heartfelt and hilarious, and she made announcing the nominees actually fun to watch. Secondly, We’re going to call Silverman “tasteless” but pretend Hart is a class act? The same Kevin Hart who starred in Get Hard? The same Kevin Hart who turned down the part of Apla Chino in Tropic Thunder because he won’t play a gay role? The same Kevin Hart who joked during his 2010 Seriously tour, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay?”
Below you can watch the bit, in which Hart recalls knocking his son to the ground for “his first gay moment,” but insists he’s not homophobic.
Regarding his side-eye worthy comments, Hart has explained that this isn’t a reflection about how he feels about the LGBTQA+ community, but rather a reflection of his own insecurities. Cool cool. But isn’t the Academy at all worried Hart’s insecurities could be a problem when it comes to talking about a number of the potential nominated films this year? The Favourite, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Boy Erased, Bohemian Rhapsody, Collette, Disobedience, A Star Is Born and Border all involve queer characters. Can Hart be trusted to make jokes about any of the above that manage to be “funny but not tasteless?”
I suspect Hart will steer clear of gay jokes, not because he’s shown any signs of growth on the issue, but rather because he realizes such gags may hurt his brand. As he told Rolling Stone, “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”
Hart offered this comment in 2015, the same year Get Hard came out. Class act.
Header Image Source: World of Wonder