On March 27 this year, when the 94th Academy Awards are held, they will feature a host for the first time in three years.
Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, announced the news on Tuesday, December 11, during the winter Television Critics Association virtual press tour. “You heard it here first,” Erwich said before joking that it could be him to take on the task.
The prestigious awards show first made the decision to go hostless in 2019, after Kevin Hart had been slated to take on the gig. The actor and comedian decided to step away from the job after past Tweets he had written, which were homophobic in nature, were resurfaced. Hart explained that he walked away from the gig “because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”
Prior to Hart’s ill-fated appointment, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel hosted the annual ceremony in 2017 and 2018.
Other famous faces to take on the emceeing gig have been Chris Rock (2016), Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Seth MacFarlane (2013), Billy Crystal (2012) and James Franco/Anne Hathaway (2011) with the Franco/Hathaway stint being widely derided by viewers and critics alike.
Noticing an increase in viewership once the ceremony went to air sans host, the Academy decided to move forward in that way from there on out.
Exactly who will host the March ceremony has not yet been announced, but the nominations for the awards will be announced on February 8, so that could be when the news is revealed.
The show will also return to its traditional home of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles after the 2021 ceremony was held as a pared-down version at Union Station due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the films predicted to potentially be up for the coveted Best Picture category are titles such as Don’t Look Up, Coda, Dune, House of Gucci, West Side Story, King Richard, Belfast and The Power of the Dog.
The latter, directed by Aussie director Jane Campion, took home the awards for Best Director, Best Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor (Any Film) for Kodi Smit-McPhee at the 2022 Golden Globes.