On Friday morning, comic Kevin Hart stepped down from internet hosting this yr’s Oscars after 7-year-old homophobic tweets surfaced. By now, it is a unhappy and predictable scenario, nevertheless it’s additionally illustrative of the Oscars’ ever-increasing irrelevance.
Discovering a host for the Oscars has turn into near-impossible, and till asserting Hart final week, the Academy had been desperate. With little greater than two months to go, no different star was prepared to signal on. A current Hollywood Reporter column assailed internet hosting the Oscars as “a gig that nearly nobody ought to need” and reported that of two-time hosts Hugh Jackman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart and Chris Rock, most have mentioned they’d by no means do it once more.
Why would they? A grimy secret of Hollywood’s most glamorous and essential night time: Hosts are paid a pittance — in 2017, Jimmy Kimmel mentioned his pay was $15,000. (ABC charged $2.6 million for 30-second advertisements throughout 2018’s telecast — half of what that yr’s Tremendous Bowl received.)
“I believe it’s unlawful to pay nothing,” Kimmel mentioned throughout an interview in KROQ that yr. “I’m undecided I used to be presupposed to reveal this, however no person informed me to not … They requested like 14 folks, and so they all mentioned no, after which there was me.”
Kimmel mentioned he knew that Chris Rock and Billy Crystal — who final hosted in 2012 — have been paid the similar quantity to work for no less than six weeks, typically with their very own writing workers, to craft materials that’s someway humorous but toothless, designed to not puncture a single ego in the room. It’s a decades-long prediction and criticism: The Oscars ceremony is simply too lengthy. It’s boring. But yr after yr, as rankings fall and irrelevance rises, the Academy refuses to modernize or truncate the present, insisting it simply can’t be finished. Why not? It’s not colonizing Mars. It’s well-known, wealthy, lovely folks celebrating different well-known, wealthy, lovely folks. Why do the Oscars even want a host? We’re in a totally automated age anyway.
Maybe the Academy continues to be scarred from the final hostless ceremony, again in 1989, when Rob Lowe opened the present singing “Proud Mary” with an actress taking part in Snow White. It was, to paraphrase producer Scott Rudin, a camp occasion nonpareil, and led to 17 display screen legends, Paul Newman and Gregory Peck amongst them, signing an open letter calling the ceremony “a humiliation to each the Academy and the whole movement image business.”
This can be a unhappy and predictable scenario, nevertheless it’s additionally illustrative of the Oscars’ ever-increasing irrelevance.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted in 2011. So disastrous was their pairing and the subsequent criticism that Franco informed Howard Stern he locked himself in a lodge room for days to experience out the humiliation. “I shouldn’t have been doing it,” Franco mentioned later. His good friend Seth Rogen blamed the sclerotic Academy itself.
“I believe if you comply with do one thing like that, you place a specific amount of religion in the establishment, hoping that they’ll deal with you, and I really feel like they didn’t [take care of him],” Rogen informed Shortlist.com that yr. “Why rent James Franco after which give him Billy Crystal’s monologue? It was like, ‘Oh, we’ll rent these younger f–king hosts after which we’ll simply do the similar s–t we do each f- -king yr.’”
After which there was 2013’s host, Seth MacFarlane, who was someway allowed to carry out a whole music known as “We Noticed Your Boobs,” by which he named actresses in the crowd who had finished nudity — together with these in movies such as “Silkwood” and “The Accused.” By no means, ever would that fly at the moment, and it makes you surprise simply what number of outdated white males are nonetheless operating this present.
It’s turn into an awards-season cliche to check the Oscars to its much less legit however boozier, looser cousin, the Golden Globes, however absolutely notes will be taken. Primary is likely to be to take the whole enterprise much less critically.
Considered one of the most memorable Globes moments ever lives as a meme nonetheless, Woman Gaga nudging Leonardo DiCaprio’s arm out of her manner as she walked to the stage. This 2016 nugget accommodates multitudes, analyzed by gossip fiends as carefully as the Zapruder movie: an unimpressed DiCaprio joking with somebody off-screen; Gaga’s imperious stride as she goes to gather an award for, primarily, camp; her nudge, delivered with out wanting down; and eventually, DiCaprio’s face, which registers shock, bemusement, mockery, disdain and dismissal in perhaps two seconds flat, reminding us once more that he’s one in every of our greats.
Now that’s leisure.