Two days ago it was announced that Kevin Hart would host the Oscars and I wrote, “…everyone likes Kevin Hart. He’s the Platonic ideal of an Oscar host: popular, funny but not offensive…” And then a lot of you emailed to let me know that you don’t like Kevin Hart. He has a history of doing and saying dumb sh-t, telling homophobic “jokes”, and hosting cowboys-and-Indians theme parties There are legit reasons not to like him. It’s just never mattered before. His dumb sh-t Twitter history goes back to like 2009, and in the decade between then and now, he has only become one of the most popular entertainers on the planet. His Q score, basically the celebrity likeability index, is thirty-four. For comparison, very famous and universally beloved Hugh Jackman’s Q score is twenty-four. So yes, “everyone” likes Kevin Hart, where “everyone” is a cross-demographic sample. For his entire career, it has not mattered how Hart has f-cked up, nothing has ever slowed him down. To quote Kathleen, “This scandal has not jeopardized his career and has barely affected his reputation.”
But in a sign of how much things have really changed, Hart’s bullsh-t might have finally caught up to him. Because once the internet started in on his history of sh-tty tweets, particularly the homophobic language used, the snowball turned into an avalanche and just forty-eight hours later, Hart is out as the host of the Oscars.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
The Academy asked him to apologize, and he refused. (Being unapologetic about his dumb sh-t is a trend for Hart.) He tacked on an apology in his Twitter-statement, but that doesn’t really count after previously refusing to apologize. That’s a real “I’m sorry I got caught” move. Maybe he expected the Academy to back him either way, or maybe—and more likely—he knows that the Academy needed him more than he needed them. They need a host that will draw an audience, and there aren’t too many entertainers who satisfy all quadrants, but Hart does not need to host the Oscars, it doesn’t do anything positive for his career. In fact, just the opposite, as his brush with the Academy might actually put a dent in his public persona.
We’ll have to see what the long-term fallout is for Hart. I’ll be curious to see if his Q score, which includes a like/dislike component, is affected at all, or if there is any kind of change in how he conducts himself in the press—he’ll be promoting Jumanji 2 next year, among several other projects. Or does he just continue on as before, with this mess rolling off him like he’s Teflon, as it always has in the past? Things have changed, and now the question is how much have they really changed.
As for who will host the Oscars now, my money is on Ellen DeGeneres. They were already having a hard time finding a host, but now it will be impossible. It will end up being someone who has hosted before, who doesn’t need the gig but loves their industry enough to put up with it, and who has a squeaky-clean digital footprint. That’s pretty much just Ellen and Billy Crystal (who previously stepped in after Eddie Murphy quit when Brett Ratner got fired from producing for using a homophobic slur). Of course, they could always take my suggestion for Wolf Host 2019 and release a pack of wolves during the ceremony. At this rate, ravenous wolves could not possibly be any messier than the 2019 Oscars already are.