The 2019 Oscars will forgo having a host for the first time in 30 years.
The film industry’s biggest awards night, which is taking place on 24 February, will instead have a variety of top stars to introduce different sections, reports US entertainment magazine Variety.
This is a departure from the traditional Oscars program, which relies on one or two hosts to open the show and MC the evening.
Comedian Kevin Hart was originally named as Oscars host last year, but he stepped down after a series of homophobic tweets he posted between 2009 and 2011 resurfaced online.
The Academy reportedly offered Kevin an ultimatum: apologize or step down. The actor chose the latter.
“I’m gonna be me and stand my ground. Regardless, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul,” he said in an Instagram video announcing his decision to step down.
Even so, Kevin later expressed his regret about his tweets and apologized to the LGBTQ community, E! Online reports.
“I don’t 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 tweeted.
He later said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he was tired of defending himself, adding that he’s apologized for using homophobic language in the past.
The Academy had been considering welcoming the actor back, but Kevin told Good Morning America on Wednesday that even if he was given the opportunity to host the Oscars now, it’s too late for him to change his mind.
“I’m not hosting the Oscars this year,” he said.
“Right now, from a time perspective, I don’t have the time. You’re talking about two weeks that I’d really have to prepare.”
The Oscars has only gone without a single host once before, in 1989.