A number of Academy Awards ceremonies have had no host. The last time, in 1989, proved highly controversial, not least due to an opening number featuring Rob Lowe and an actress dressed as Disney’s Snow White.
A group of leading Hollywood figures wrote an open letter after the ceremony, calling the telecast “an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion picture industry”.
The Walt Disney Company also filed a legal action against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, accusing the organization of copyright infringement.
The role of anchoring the Oscars has thrown up problems for a number of hosts since then. The Hollywood Reporter has described it as “the least wanted job in Hollywood”.
The controversy about Kevin Hart’s tweets and the choice not to replace him with a single host follows a difficult few years for the Academy.
The 2017 ceremony was rocked by the so-called “Envelopegate” scandal, in which La La Land was wrongly named best picture instead of the actual winner Moonlight.
Plans to introduce a popular film award category were shelved last year following widespread criticism.
The Academy has also been stung by the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, prompted by the all-white line-ups in the four categories for acting in 2015 and 2016.
Kevin Hart had said hosting the Oscars was “a goal on my list for a long time”.
In a tweet on December 6, the actor said he had chosen to step down” because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists”.
He said: “I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
Comments Kevin Hart made during a comedy routine in 2010 have been put under the spotlight in recent days.
“One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear,” the actor told the audience.
“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do.
“But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
In 2015, by which time Kevin Hart’sprofile had risen significantly, the actor addressed the comments in an interview with Rolling Stone.
He said: “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now.
“I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can.”
When Kevin Hart revealed he would bethe Oscars host earlier this week, he said it was the “opportunity of alifetime for me as a comedian” and that his mother was “smiling fromear to ear right now”.
Jerry Seinfeld has topped this year’s Forbes list of highest-paid comedians, with estimated earnings of $36 million in 2015.
It is the fourth year Jerry Seinfeld, 61, has topped the list thanks to syndication deals for his show Seinfeld, live tours and the series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Kevin Hart’s roles propelled him to second place with $28.5 million.
In third place with $21.5 million is ventriloquist and impressionist Terry Fator – a former winner of America’s Got Talent who has been dubbed “the human jukebox”. He is in the middle of a five-year residency at Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel, reported to be worth $100 million.
Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Canadian Russell Peters are in joint fourth with $19 million, while Aziz Ansari is in sixth place with $9.5 million.
Louis CK is in seventh with $9 million, Gabriel Iglesias is in eighth with $8.5 million, John Bishop on ninth with $8 million and Dave Chappelle rounds out the top ten with $7.5 million.
To make the list, the comics’ primary source of income has to be from ticket sales.
Jerry Seinfeld previously topped the list in 2013 for the third year in a row, although there was no list in 2014.
His earnings also took him to number 62 in the magazine’s Celebrity 100 in 2015.
Jerry Seinfeld is expected to earn more in future years, following a recent deal with streaming service Hulu which is reported to have paid $160 million for the rights to Seinfeld.
Kevin Hart has announced via Instagram on August 18 that he is engaged to his girlfriend Eniko Parrish.
“She said YEEEEESSSSS…… #Happy #MyRib #iF–kingLoveHer,” Kevin Hart captioned an image of himself and model Eniko Parrish.
Kevin Hart, who has been dating Eniko Parrish for five years, popped the question on her birthday.
“Happy Birthday to the most amazing woman in the world. Today is your day babe and we are going to party like it’s 1999….I love you so much. I’m a better man because of you. P.S your old as s–t now lmao #Dirty30 #HappyBday #ThrowBackPic,” Kevin Hart wrote prior to posting the engagement picture.
Kevin Hart has announced his engagement to girlfriend Eniko Parrish (photo Twitter)
Eniko Parrish tweeted on August 14 the couple do have plans for children at some point: “LOL! Working on it does NOT mean right now. <<Working on it>> means when the timing is right.. We will begin to plan!”
The day of their engagement also marked the premiere of Torrei Hart’s VH1 show Atlanta Exes.
After Kevin Hart’s ex-wife told Entertainment Tonight that Eniko Parrish caused her relationship with Kevin to end, the comedian took to Twitter to defend his now fiancée this past May.
“My woman has nothing to do with my past marriage problems in any way shape or form,” he wrote.
“It’s almost 7yrs total of me not being with my Ex; I guess giving a woman over 20k a month and still being there for her and being a incredible father isn’t enough!”
Kevin Hart comedy Think Like A Man Too topped the US box office chart with $30 million.
Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of hit musical Jersey Boys has only managed to debut at number four.
Jersey Boys, about Frankie Valli’s group, based on the Tony award-winning musical, took just $13.5 million over the weekend.
It featured a mainly unknown cast aside from Christopher Walken and got mixed reviews.
Think Like A Man Too topped the US box office chart with $30 million
Think Like a Man Too took $30 million in a slow weekend, narrowly beating 22 Jump Street, which took $29 million in its second week of release.
Dreamworks’ animated sequel How To Train Your Dragon 2 slipped to third spot with $25.3 million, ensuring that the weekend’s top three were all sequels.
Think Like A Man Too only managed to get a 22% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review site but that did not stop fans flocking to the cinema.
Jersey Boys won the Tony award for best musical in 2006, and productions of it have played all over the world.
Nearly three-quarters of the first-weekend audience for Jersey Boys were over the age of 50, so producers will be hoping the film will be popular for a few weeks – older audiences tend not to rush out to catch a film on its opening weekend.
Angelina Jolie’s live action fairytale Maleficent, rounded out the top five.
The movie passed the $500 million over the weekend at the international box office, making it Angelina Jolie’s highest-grossing live-action film of all time, not accounting for inflation, according to Hollywood Reporter.