Dear Gossips,

The Academy officially confirmed yesterday what was already common knowledge: the Oscars will not have a host. This after Karey Burke, the new president of ABC Entertainment (ABC airs the Oscars) spoke at the TCA, addressing media questions about this year’s show. She said there was an advantage to going host-less

“The main goal, which I’m told the Academy promised last year, is to keep the show to three hours,” said Burke. “The producers decided to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours.”

As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the show last year was 3 hours and 53 minutes. Which means they have to shave off almost an hour. A WHOLE HOUR. And you know that’s not going to be commercial time. This is why Oscar producers pleaded with nominees at the luncheon on Monday to keep their acceptance speeches short– and interesting. Karey emphasised that too: 

“From what I’ve heard, we have a very exciting opener planned,” she said. “We are not going to go straight into people thanking their agents.”
Like I said yesterday, every year the actors are asked not to thank their agents and to stay brief. Every year people thank their agents and don’t stay brief. Is it just about wanting to acknowledge and credit people publicly or is it that they worry that, in this town of giant egos and petty grudges, if they don’t acknowledge and credit people properly, they’re not going to get their next job? You know who comes to mind here? Harvey Weinstein. Can’t you picture him as the f-cking asshole who’d hold it against an actor for not mentioning his name up on stage? That was the line that kept coming up after he was exposed – that he was “thanked as often as God” in Oscar speeches. 

About the Oscar luncheon the other day though – there were several absences: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Adam Driver. Probably all working. For sure Emma Stone is. She’s in Atlanta shooting the Zombieland sequel and will likely have to travel to the UK soon for the BAFTAs on Sunday so presumably she wanted to limit her absences from set. But also, she already has an Oscar and, let’s be real, she’s not winning one this year. If she was anywhere near frontrunner status though for Best Supporting Actress, do you think they would have found a way for her to be there? 

I wish Kendrick Lamar was there. He’s nominated for Best Song for “All the Stars” from the Black Panther soundtrack. He will also be performing at the Oscars but he is not going to win because the award will go to “Shallow”. Needless to say, the Oscar Nominees luncheon – and award season in general – isn’t exactly Kendrick’s mood. I wonder if he’ll even walk the carpet on Oscar Sunday and how much time he’ll actually spend in his seat during the show. All of that, including the host situation, and the unpredictability of this year’s race, is adding to the intrigue. Karey Burke was right about that when she said that the drama has made the Oscars more interesting than they’ve been in years:

“Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept them in the conversation. The mystery is really compelling. People really care.”

But this is not typically how the Academy operates. They don’t like sloppy. They prefer boring. And they think they’re better than TV. But they need TV to boost their big ass celebration. So, yeah, it IS ironic. That it’s the television people who are assuring them that this is how to make their sh-t more interesting. 

Yours in gossip,