It hasn't even happened yet, but the 2019 Academy Awards (opens in new tab) have already been super dramatic. First, Kevin Hart was announced as host—and then came the scandal that led to a last-minute change of plans and Hart officially stepping down from the role. So, uh, what exactly happened, again? Here's how it all went down.
December 4, 2018
Kevin Hart is officially announced as the Oscars host on December 4, and he releases statement about how proud and honored he is. "I will be sure to make this years [sic] Oscars a special one," he said. "Now it's time to rise to the occasion."
John Bailey, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, said he was "very excited" to announce Hart, per Variety (opens in new tab). "I think he’s going to surround himself with people who also are going to be appealing like him,” he said. “I think some of the presenters and guests are going to be his friends.”
A photo posted by on
December 5, 2018
Almost as soon as Hart is announced, and continuing over the next couple days, tweets resurface (opens in new tab) from between 2009 to 2011 that Hart had deleted before the Oscars announcement. The tweets include derogatory and homophobic jokes.
December 6, 2018
Hart defends himself in an Instagram video, saying that he's growing and happy with the person he's becoming. "Stop looking for reasons to be negative…stop searching for reasons to be angry...I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all," he writes.
Then, the Academy gives Hart an ultimatum (opens in new tab), according to Hart. "So I just got a call from The Academy," he said in another video later that same day. "That call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets or we're going to have to move on and find another host.'"
Hart chooses to decline the gig. With not much time left to find another host, the Academy is left scrambling.
A photo posted by on
January 4, 2019
An episode of Ellen airs (opens in new tab) in which Hart, who comes on as a guest, says that "trolls" are responsible for the "attack on my character," but he does apologize for and try to explain his previous comments.
Ellen DeGeneres, who herself has hosted the Oscars, says she's called the Academy to vouch for Hart. She tells him, "You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You've done it. Don't let those people win—host the Oscars."
January 7, 2019
Hart apologizes (opens in new tab) again for his previous tweets. "Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community,” the comedian said. “I apologize.” He also defends the jokes as "bits" and not a representation of who he is.
January 9, 2019
Variety (opens in new tab) reports, officially, that the Oscars will be hostless. It's the first time in 30 years that the show has gone on without a host, and "producers will select a crop of A-listers to introduce various segments instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers," according to insiders quoted by Variety.
February 7, 2019
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson says (opens in new tab) he was actually the first choice to host the Oscars. "My goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever," he wrote. "We all tried hard, but couldn't make it work since I'm shooting 'Jumanji.' Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road." Interestingly, Jumanji also stars The Rock's costar—Kevin Hart.
Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃 https://t.co/eiiMuBNOzbFebruary 6, 2019
Wow. That has been, uh, quite a ride?
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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