On Friday morning, comic Kevin Hart stepped down from internet hosting this 12 months’s Oscars after 7-year-old homophobic tweets surfaced. By now, debacles equivalent to this are unhappy and predictable, however this one can also be illustrative of the Oscars’ ever-increasing irrelevance.
Discovering a number for the Oscars has turn out to be near-impossible, and till saying Hart final week, the Academy had been determined. With little greater than two months to go, no different star was keen to signal on. A latest Hollywood Reporter column assailed internet hosting the Oscars as “a gig that just about nobody ought to need” and reported that of two-time hosts Hugh Jackman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart and Chris Rock, most have mentioned they’d by no means do it once more.
Why would they? A unclean secret of Hollywood’s most glamorous and vital night time: Hosts are paid a pittance — in 2017, Jimmy Kimmel mentioned his pay was $15,000. (ABC charged $2.6 million for 30-second advertisements throughout 2018’s telecast — half of what that 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl obtained.)
“I feel it’s unlawful to pay nothing,” Kimmel mentioned throughout an interview in KROQ that 12 months. “I’m unsure I used to be speculated to reveal this, however no person instructed me to not … They requested like 14 folks, they usually all mentioned no, after which there was me.”
Kimmel mentioned he knew that Chris Rock and Billy Crystal — who final hosted in 2012 — have been paid the identical quantity to work for a minimum of six weeks, typically with their very own writing employees, to craft materials that’s in some way humorous but toothless, designed to not puncture a single ego within the room. It’s a decades-long prediction and criticism: The Oscars ceremony is simply too lengthy. It’s boring. But 12 months after 12 months, as scores fall and irrelevance rises, the Academy refuses to modernize or truncate the present, insisting it simply can’t be performed. Why not? It’s not colonizing Mars. It’s well-known, wealthy, stunning folks celebrating different well-known, wealthy, stunning folks. Why do the Oscars even want a number? We’re in a totally automated age anyway.
Maybe the Academy continues to be scarred from the final hostless ceremony, again in 1989, when Rob Lowe opened the present singing “Proud Mary” with an actress enjoying Snow White. It was, to paraphrase producer Scott Rudin, a camp occasion nonpareil, and led to 17 display legends, Paul Newman and Gregory Peck amongst them, signing an open letter calling the ceremony “a humiliation to each the Academy and your entire movement image trade.”
This can be a unhappy and predictable state of affairs, but it surely’s additionally illustrative of the Oscars’ ever-increasing irrelevance.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted in 2011. So disastrous was their pairing and the following criticism that Franco instructed Howard Stern he locked himself in a resort room for days to experience out the humiliation. “I shouldn’t have been doing it,” Franco mentioned later. His pal Seth Rogen blamed the sclerotic Academy itself.
“I feel if you comply with do one thing like that, you set a specific amount of religion within the establishment, hoping that they’ll care for you, and I really feel like they didn’t [take care of him],” Rogen instructed Shortlist.com that 12 months. “Why rent James Franco after which give him Billy Crystal’s monologue? It was like, ‘Oh, we’ll rent these younger f–king hosts after which we’ll simply do the identical s–t we do each f- -king 12 months.’”
After which there was 2013’s host, Seth MacFarlane, who was in some way allowed to carry out a complete music known as “We Noticed Your Boobs,” during which he named actresses within the crowd who had performed nudity — together with these in movies equivalent to “Silkwood” and “The Accused.” By no means, ever would that fly at this time, and it makes you marvel simply what number of previous white males are nonetheless operating this present.
It’s turn out to be an awards-season cliche to check the Oscars to its much less legit however boozier, looser cousin, the Golden Globes, however certainly notes will be taken. Primary may be to take your entire enterprise much less significantly.
Some of the memorable Globes moments ever lives as a meme nonetheless, Woman Gaga nudging Leonardo DiCaprio’s arm out of her method as she walked to the stage. This 2016 nugget comprises multitudes, analyzed by gossip fiends as intently because the Zapruder movie: an unimpressed DiCaprio joking with somebody off-screen; Gaga’s imperious stride as she goes to gather an award for, basically, camp; her nudge, delivered with out trying down; and eventually, DiCaprio’s face, which registers shock, bemusement, mockery, disdain and dismissal in possibly two seconds flat, reminding us once more that he’s one among our greats.
Now that’s leisure.