The Motion Picture Academy is scrambling to find a replacement to host the Oscars after Kevin Hart quit over a controversy over his homophobic past tweets.
While his comedy tour will still go ahead this weekend while he is in Sydney, Hart said yesterday that he was sorry for his anti-gay comments.
In a series of tweets, he said he wouldn’t be hosting the Oscars to avoid being a “distraction” on the night.
An hour before he stepped down from the Oscar hosting duties, he posted an Instagram video saying he would refuse to apologise for his homophobic comments.
“I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologise for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.’ I’m talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010,” he said.
“I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were.”
As for finding a replacement, Hollywood’s press has gone into overdrive with suggestions for a new Oscars host.
Proven veterans like Ellen DeGeneres (who hosted in 2014 and 2007) and Neil Patrick Harris (2015) are up there — but Australia’s comedic genius Hannah Gadsby has emerged as a dark horse contender.
The 40-year-old comedian from Tasmania stole the show at the Emmy Awards in September.
Gadsby was one of a number of suggestions put forth by leading US entertainment site Variety.
She first rose to international fame with her popular Netflix series Nanette.
Gadsby’s comedy features strong social commentary on a number of LGBTQ issues, and she is openly lesbian, which would provide a robust contrast with Hart’s past homophobia.
“Asking Hannah Gadsby to host the Oscars is the most obvious thing in the world, come the eff on, Academy,” wrote Rachel Vorona Cote on Twitter.
“Hannah Gadsby would be brilliant,” another user wrote.
Others were less enthusiastic with some calling her unfunny.
Gadsby recently made a speech at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment breakfast.
Gadsby told the female crowd that Hollywood “good men” should not be allowed to define who are good and bad, because women should be the one to do that.
“I want to speak about the very big problem I have with the good men, especially the good who take it upon themselves to talk about the bad men,” she said.
“My issue is that when good men talk about bad men, they always ignore the line in the sand. The line in the sand that is inevitably drawn whenever a good man talks about bad men. ‘I am a good man, here is the line, there are all the bad men.’”
Gadsby said men drew a different line for different occasions — they have one for “the locker room, a line for when their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters are watching, another line for when they’re drunk and fratting, another line for nondisclosure, a line for friends and a line for foes”.
“This world, a world full of good men who do very bad things and still believe in their heart of hearts that they are good men, because they have not crossed the line, because they move the line for their own good. Women should be in control of that line, no question,” she said.
She also called out celebrities she referred to as the “Jimmys” of late-night TV.
“I find good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating,” she said.
“This is something the good men are doing a lot of at the moment … Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the Jimmys and the Davids and the other Jimmys. But the last thing I need right now, in this moment in history, is to have to listen to men monologue about misogyny and how other men should stop being ‘creepy’, as if that’s the problem.”
Other possible Oscar hosts floated by Variety include Billy Eichner; Donald Glover; Ken Jeong; Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele; Melissa McCarthy; Lin Manuel- Miranda; Patton Oswalt; Issa Rae and Wanda Sykes.
The last Australian to host the Oscars was Hugh Jackman in 2009. Paul Hogan did it in 1987.
— with AAP