The Oscars will have no host again this year

LOS ANGELES • The Oscars ceremony next month will again have no host, the head of ABC Television Entertainment said on Wednesday.

"Let me confirm it now. Together with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we have decided there will be no traditional host again this year," Ms Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, told reporters.

Last year's Oscars was the first in 30 years to have no host and saw the audience on broadcaster ABC rise to 29.6 million Americans, breaking a four-year trend of falling viewership for the live ceremony.

Ms Burke said the decision not to have a host for the Feb 9 event, the most prestigious awards in the movie business, was prompted by good reviews last year, when rock band Queen opened the show with a live performance to celebrate the box-office success of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.

Ms Burke said organisers plan on "repeating what worked for us last year - huge entertainment value, big musical numbers, big comedy".

"A lot of incredible elements have already come together and convinced us that we are going to have an incredibly entertaining show again," she added.

Nominations for this year's Oscars will be announced on Monday.

Finding a host for a big awards show has become increasingly difficult in recent years.

Comedian Kevin Hart pulled out of the Oscars job last year after being slammed on social media for homophobic comments he made in the past. He apologised.

Other comedians, including Ricky Gervais at Sunday's Golden Globes, have met with criticism for being either too harsh, too political or too soft in their jokes.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2020, with the headline 'The Oscars will have no host again this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe