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  • Ruby McAuliffe

Opinion: A Prideful Hart

Updated: Oct 22, 2019

Kevin Hart has officially said no to hosting the Oscars and the Academy moved forward, but was all of this necessary?


Original Source: https://zunews.com/2019/01/a-prideful-hart/

Photo Courtesy of Phillip Faraone/ Getty Images


The last time the Oscars went on without a host was in 1989 when the show opened up with Snow White following the Hollywood stars to get to the theatre. You bet I searched it up on my laptop and the 11-minute clip was odd and uncomfortable. It made me feel as if I was watching a Disney slash Wizard of Oz knock off. 30 years later, that night still lives on in infamy. Well, this 2019 ceremony is taking another stab at an absent host, but did it really have to get to this point?  


Back in December, Kevin Hart, comedian, actor and producer, stepped down from hosting the Oscars  after choosing to not issue a formal apology for his 2009-2010 homophobic tweets. He claimed he had already done so in the past. A day later, despite his previous words, Hart took to Twitter and apologized. Soon after, he went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where Ellen tried to persuade him to still take the gig, but he wouldn’t have it. A recent interview on Good Morning America showed that Hart is adamant in his decision and is “done with it” claiming it gets “no more energy.”


However, the question arises, did this debacle need to lead to such a momentous turn of events?


When Hart was first announced as host, it was a celebration. I couldn’t wait to watch this year’s show because Hart brings a level of comedy and entertainment that others simply cannot. I mean, he’s Kevin Hart! The fact that Hart jeopardized his own chances by not issuing a formal apology is baffling to me. Granted, he had addressed these controversial tweets in the past, but is it really so hard to say sorry one more time? I don’t think it is.


In his original tweet, where he announces himself as host, he claimed it as “an opportunity of a lifetime.” If this is so, he should have taken the simple step of apologizing. Yes, these tweets are from a decade ago, and their relevance has faded, but the words still remain. If Hart believed his tweets were in the wrong, why not admit it one more time?


The hidden layer here is pride. Hart has a level of pride he’s not going to let down. He’s adamant in his stance and essentially chose his own pride over an esteemed position. I don’t think that was a great move.


What makes it even worse is that Hart didn’t stick to his word. After his tweets resurfaced, he refused to issue a formal apology––until the following day. He made a rambunctious commotion and struck fire, yet he turned around and apologized shortly after. Whether it was his PR team or his own common sense, he gave up on his initial stance fairly quickly, which makes me question his integrity. At this point, I’m not even too concerned with the tweets themselves, but rather with what Hart really believes in and what his stance truly is. But I will give him one thing, he didn’t take back his position as host, so if anything, we know his “no” means “no.”


While it’s a bummer this didn’t end well for Hart, I think the Oscars made the right decision to not find another host. This Oscars night will make its mark in Academy history––for worse or for better.


Last year, the Oscars’ ratings dropped by 20 percent and reached “its worst viewership ever,” according to an article by Fortune. Whether this was because of the extensive amount of hours the show dragged on for, or because of the political, passive-aggressive jokes, this switch-up gives the Oscars a chance to revamp itself and draw more interest. An absent Hart, and no one to replace him, may provide a space for the Oscars to move forward in creativity and perseverance. A hostless ceremony may just be what the Academy needed, so maybe they should actually be thanking Hart for not crawling back.


So far, the Oscars’ creative plan is to have A-listers present different segments of the show, according to Vox. This will surely attract attention because of celebrity-ism. Skits and music will also be embedded within the show.


Don’t get tied up in the idea that this change of plans will make for a momentous night under the Dolby Theatre ceiling, though.    


Not having Hart may lead to another 1989 incident. If history repeats itself, viewership may plummet to an even greater extent, or who knows, perhaps the cringe-worthy atmosphere will be too good to look away.


While Hart may not be there to rack up views and while I wish we could have avoided this unnecessary mess, the upcoming Oscars will be a night to remember––mark my words. The question is: Will the ceremony match the event’s reputation as one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the film industry or will it be a production that is destined for failure? Whatever happens, we have Hart and his prideful tendencies to thank.

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© 2019 by Ruby McAuliffe.