Who Will Lead The 2019 Academy Awards: The Post Host Ghost Woes


The British Academy have announced their nominees for the year, and they are looking pretty good! Hopefully the Academy Awards will follow suit with some of the more out-there picks (which can be found here). Speaking of which, what’s going on with the hosting controversy? Kevin Hart has officially confirmed that he will not take part in hosting the ceremony after a controversial month and a bit. After some offensive jokes of his resurfaced, and his attempts at reconciliation were loaded or skewed, we’ve reached this point. We might not even have a host at all. I am going out on a limb to insist that this might actually be a good thing to happen.

Yes. For the people at the back, I will repeat: this might actually be a good thing. What has been a major complaint many viewers have had the last number of years? People have had issues with how hosting duties have gone. Whether it’s the political climate that people are sensitive to hearing (or are just flat out tired of hearing), or if the jokes have just fallen flat, I can’t recall any host this decade not having at least a number of dissatisfied viewers rant about (or even towards) them online. This way, we can cut out all of that polarizing time. No more contests to see who can cringe the last during opening sketches. No more appreciating the commercials more than the initial banter. Sure, we could try to find someone who will do a perfect job like back in the day, but the chances of operations being run the same way are very slim. That’s just not the nature of awards shows now, sadly, so we’re destined to at least have a decent host at best (and a life altering bad host at worst).


However, we can’t just jump straight into the awards being given out. Sadly, we can’t have it that way, either. How do we know? Well, this is not the first time the Academy Awards have been without a host. Just thirty years ago, at the 61st Academy Awards, we saw a ceremony without a host. Instead, the show was produced by film producer Allan Carr. The show, again, didn’t just jump into any of the awards (a spectacle for Rain Man that year, which took home a number of accolades including Best Picture). It could have done that, and spared Carr a notoriety that followed him for years until his passing. It could have came and went like a Screen Actors Guild awards show that cuts right to the point. Instead, we were gifted with this little time capsule.

Where do we even begin with this? Snow White… who is decades past irrelevancy when it comes to making a pop culture reference, is here. Toss in Merv Griffin, a dance with Tony Martin and Cyd Charisse and Snow White’s “blind date” Rob Lowe (amongst many other situations), and you have a complete and utter mess. This might have been where Don Lockwood’s dreams went to retire in Singin’ in the Rain. What’s the problem? Perhaps that there wasn’t any actual focus here, but instead oodles of dazzle just to shimmer. There are golden stars, huge productions, and continuous music (strung together with parody lyrics and other jokes). Maybe we won’t make something this bad thirty years later, but there’s also the Schrodinger’s Cat possibility that something even worse can be made. I mean, watch this, and tell me this isn’t just the product of having aged poorly.

So, naturally, we’ve concluded that the Academy Awards cannot just back off without any form of a spectacle at all. For us, it’s mostly about the awards and seeing who will go home with the coveted trophies. For the parties involved, though, this is about having a good time as well. They do so by partying and admiring their friends, so something will surely be put on for them (and us, too). Will it involve politics? Likely. Even though this is televised around the world, this is more an event for those invited and taking part than it is for us, really. It just happens to be shown on television. Will there be a show number or video of some sort? Absolutely. Again, this is a spectacle for the industry members in attendance.

So, what does this mean for us? We may get away without a scratch, considering that an opening number still allows the rest of the ceremony to just rely on the actual awards (and whatever jokes or statements come with each categories and their presenters). But, as long as we don’t let history repeat itself, it might not be so bad… right? Well, it can’t get much worse reception wise. With many people boycotting the ceremony for political or industry related reasons, last year’s ceremony recorded its lowest viewership ever (since the ceremony was televised, anyways). With a possibly shorter show, and less of a figure head to put on a stake after the show is done, maybe things can turn around.

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Andreas Babiolakis has a Masters degree in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections management from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelors degree in Cinema Studies from York University. His favourite times of year are the Criterion Collection flash sales and the annual Toronto International Film Festival.