Comedian Kevin Hart announced on Tuesday that he is headed to the Oscars stage to be the host for the 2019 Academy Awards.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to,” Hart wrote on Instagram.
“I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”
Hart is no novice to hosting award ceremonies, having done so for the BET Awards in 2011 and the MTV Video Music Awards in 2012.
The Night School star replaces late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel as the MC for the prestigious movie awards.
Kimmel, who hosted for the past two Academy Awards, congratulated Hart on Twitter.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 5, 2018
“Congratulations amigo,” he wrote. “@TheAcademy made an excellent choice. You are going to kill it.”
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) December 5, 2018
Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss will produce the 2019 ceremony.
Hart’s selection comes at a time when the Oscars have been heavily scrutinized for the lack of diversity on its programming as seen by the #OscarsSoWhite trend on social media. In addition, last year’s audience fell to an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers, according to The New York Times.
The Philly native is continually adding to his extensive resume and is arguably the most popular comedian in the world. He is now developing programming for Nickelodeon and producing a family-friendly comedian for ABC, the network that airs the Oscars.
The 91st Academy Awards will air at 8 p.m. ESTon Feb. 24.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.