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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Students react to first hostless Oscars since 1989

Hart poses at the 2015 Oscars with winners of Best Animated Short Film. Photo via Flickr.

After comedian and actor Kevin Hart resigned from his position as host of the Academy Awards in early December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to go hostless for this year’s show.  

The Academy Awards announced Dec. 4 that Kevin Hart would be the 2019 host. After the Academy’s announcement, some social media users immediately dug up old tweets from Hart in which he used the word “gay” in a derogatory manner, and people referenced old stand-up sets in which he said similar things. A few days later, Hart stepped down after facing major backlash. What was meant to be a win for both the Academy and Hart quickly turned into a disaster for both parties.

Initially, Hart’s response was not an apology. He posted a video to his Instagram account with a lengthy caption in which he did not necessarily apologize, but said he had grown and changed as a person and no longer thought like that. The next day, however, Hart took to Twitter to apologize and, to the surprise of many, stepped down as host.  

Alberto Fernandez, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he commended Hart for resigning and stepping away from public scrutiny.

“I think being a human being comes first before a good comedian — and I think it was a good decision,” Fernandez said. “I think he’s a good human being, he just slipped up.” 

Without a host or much time, the Academy scrambled to fill the host role, but as Variety reported Jan. 9 they made the decision to go hostless for the first time since 1989. This decision left many to wonder and worry about how the show will go in a new format.

The Variety report said the show will focus more on skits by various A-list celebrities and more heavily on music than in previous years.   

“I like Kevin Hart, I think he’s a funny person,” John Alverez, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said. Like Fernandez, Alverez said he saw the resignation as the right move for Hart, but the wrong move for the Academy.

“(A hostless Oscars is) a bad move,” Alvarez said. “I think this whole controversy could’ve been completely avoided, in fact it should not even have happened in the first place, and now the Oscars have to deal with this mess.”  

Many public figures, like CNN’s Don Lemon, criticized Hart previously. However, many have changed their beliefs. Comedian Billy Eichner tweeted his approval of Hart’s apology, writing “I appreciate @KevinHart4real apologizing. And apology accepted. That’s all.” 

Christina Smith, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said she does not see Hart’s resignation as good for anyone.  

“I don’t think it should’ve caused him to resign, because the Oscars clearly understood what they were getting themselves (into) with Kevin Hart,” Smith said. “The hosts are half the goodness of the show, so I think it will be bad.”  

On the contrary, Fernandez remains optimistic.

“I’m excited to see how it plays out,” Fernandez said.

All three students expressed uncertainty as to whether they will tune in to the show.

The Academy Awards will take place Feb. 24 on ABC at 7 p.m. Central Time.  

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