The Oscars will have a host in 2022 for the first time in three years, but it’s still unclear who it will be.
In 2019, controversy surrounding Kevin Hart led to ABC’s decision to go ahead with the hostess awards show for the first time in recent memory. Audiences have apparently responded positively to the change given the Academy Award ratings that year, so the network has decided to keep this format until now.
Speaking on the Television Critics Association virtual press tour, Hulu Originals & ABC Entertainment chairman Craig Erwich revealed that the network is currently looking for a savvy pop culture host to lead the show. ‘show for the first time since Jimmy Kimmel did the job for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
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“Maybe that’s me,” Erwich joked (via Variety).
He went on to note that he left the choice of host for the show to Oscar executive producer Will Packer.
“Will really has his pulse on popular culture and entertainment,” Erwich explained. “I know he has a lot in store and we’ll have more details to share soon.”
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Hart stepped down as host of the 2019 Oscars after the Academy asked him to apologize for the homophobic tweets he sent out as jokes years before. Although he apologized for the callous comment, he decided the Oscar host concert just wasn’t for him at the time amid the controversy.
The year, the Hostless Oscars hit a new high, prompting ABC to vote against a host in 2020. It did the same in 2021 as the show was forced to adapt to the era of the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, those two years brought new lows to the show’s ratings.
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As a result, it makes sense for the network to look to shake things up again with a new host. Besides Kimmel, former Oscar hosts have included Chris Rock (2016), Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Seth MacFarlane (2013), Billy Crystal (2012) and James Franco / Anne Hathaway (2011).
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The Oscars are currently scheduled to air on March 27 and return to the traditional Dolby Theater at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood after last year’s pandemic-delayed show took place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.