Why There's No Oscars Host This Year

A ton of A-listers are presenting instead.

The Oscars
(Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images)

Last year's Oscars ceremony went ahead without a host, thanks to a ton of pre-show drama surrounding Kevin Hart that culminated in a quick decision. The run-up to this year's award ceremony has been less dramatic (although many people are upset that women directors were shut out of the Best Director category), but the decision has been made to continue the tradition from last year. However, there have been modifications made to last year's hastily developed plan—and it should make for an intriguing 2020 ceremony. Here's what we know at this point.

There will be no "traditional" host at the 2020 Oscars.

In January, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke made it official: "Let me confirm it now, together with the Academy, that there will be no traditional host this year." She went on to say that she thought the host-less 2019 Oscars was a success, hence the continuation of the tradition. There will be no opening monologue (last year there was a movie montage instead) and actors will introduce the awards and segments.

In the final ABC release about the Oscars presenters on February 5, the list of presenting celebrities is enormous. Just take a look: Jane Fonda, Josh Gad, Tom Hanks, Oscar Isaac, Sandra Oh, Natalie Portman, Chris Rock, Taika Waititi, Mahershala Ali, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Zazie Beetz, Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, James Corden, Penélope Cruz, Beanie Feldstein, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Zack Gottsagen, Salma Hayek, Mindy Kaling, Diane Keaton, Regina King, Shia LaBeouf, Brie Larson, Spike Lee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, George MacKay, Rami Malek, Steve Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Keanu Reeves, Ray Romano, Maya Rudolph, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig and Rebel Wilson. Oh and that's not even including performers including Janelle Monae and Billie Eilish.


The 2019 Oscars followed the same format.

In 2019, the final decision not to have a host was much more dramatic: Kevin Hart was selected, then promptly resigned after tweets resurfaced of derogatory jokes he'd made. The Academy had to scramble, and ultimately decided to go host-less for the first time in 30 years.

Reviews of that show were mixed. Some referenced the fact that a host usually disappears after the opening monologue and noted that this wasn't much different. Others, including USA Today's Kelly Lawler, lamented: "After the Poehler/Fey/Rudolph trio was done, there were few presenters with comedy skills; the awards were more like a press conference with movie clips in the middle." TBD on whether this year will feel different, but the absolute parade of A-listers crossing the stage will probably help.

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Katherine J. Igoe

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.