Audiences worldwide tune in to the Oscars annually to celebrate and to award the highest achievements within the film industry.
The current year’s 92nd Academy Awards will air for the second consecutive time without a host.
The last occurence of this sort occurred in 1989 and criticism from the media poured in immediately after. Critics expressed that the opening performance and the show as a whole made it the worst Oscars to date.
In 2019, comedian Kevin Hart was scheduled to host the show, but past homophobic tweets resurfaced, which created backlash. The comedian thereafter profusely apologized multiple times. Hart’s apologies were made online, through television, and on his personal podcast.
The chances of hosting were still up in the air during that time. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres the talk of reinstating Hart as a host still stood. But ultimately Hart turned down the position.
The Academy thereby accepted his olive branch, yet Hart still decided to decline the hosting position out of concern that the controversy could potentially distract from the event itself. Hart said he does not believe in going backwards, in his mind he got the job and the circumstances prevented it from happening.
According to Variety, the show was abbreviated and the absence of a traditional host created a different party atmosphere, one without direction. Therefore, the event opened the door for unexpected surprises. This is unusual for Hollywood where everything is managed and scripted for a production. “Time Magazine” stated that the Oscars with no host was shockingly enjoyable and The Academy should give up on hosts entirely.
The presence or absence of a host yields mixed results in viewership. In the year 2019, ratings soared by 12 percent compared to 2018 when Jimmy Kimmel hosted. However, the numbers are still dismal. The 2018 and 2019 Oscars ranked at the second-lowest level ever since Nielsen ratings first began, marking one of the smallest audiences in television history.
Additionally, the household ratings has dropped to around 16 percent since the 2017 telecast.
Moving forward, The Academy will decide on a year-to-year basis whether to have a frontman or not. Lately, the gig has lost its luster and appeal to A-list celebrities. According to online media reviews The Oscars’ attempt to stay relevant is a struggle.
Similarly, the Golden Globe Awards is another yearly show which recognizes television and movies. On the other hand, this event continues to have a designated host, uninterrupted in its history. Controversy can still follow the entertainer due to lapse in judgement and decorum. An example is this year’s Golden Globe Awards hosted by comedian Ricky Gervais for the fifth time. As in previous years, scathing remarks from the media labeled him as a “provocateur.”
When he first took the job, not all of the jokes landed and he did not care about any consequences.
During Gervais’ opening monologue, he told filmmakers who won awards not to discuss political issues during their speeches. The comedian’s tenure and reputation has always been problematic.
Currently, the hosting flap is irrelevant based on viewership and ratings. The traditional format of having a host has held steady for a number of years, but controversy is sure to cause a need for modification. Only time will tell.