The ceremony will be aired on ABC, and the network’s new entertainment chief, Karey Burke, spoke to ET Online about the decision to forgo a host following Kevin Hart‘s homophobic tweet controversy in December 2018.
“Ironically, the lack of clarity surrounding the Oscars has kept the Oscars really in the conversation and the mystery has been compelling. People really care,” Burke told the entertainment outlet. “It’s fascinating. We’re going to see a big turnout for this because these are big, popular movies who are being nominated. People really care to see who is going to win.”
Hart pulled out of hosting the award show after he said the Academy wanted him to apologize for the decade’s old tweets. The comedian said previously addressed the language and had since removed prejudice jokes from his routines.
Although he apologized to the LGBTQ community, Hart still had no interest in the job. In January, he told Ellen DeGeneres he did not want to be a distraction from the big night.
“There wasn’t messiness beyond the Kevin Hart situation. After that, it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course. There was an idea that they were going to have the presenters just host the Oscars,” Burke said. “We all got on board with that. The main goal, which I was told, was the Academy promised ABC last year after a very lengthy telecast to keep the show to three hours. Producers wisely decided to not to have a host and to go back to having the presenters and movies be the stars, and that be the best way to keep the show at a brisk three hours.”
The 91st annual Academy Awards will have a “phenomenal” lineup of presenters including Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Evans and Jennifer Lopez.