It was the "least wanted job in Hollywood"—and after the exit of Kevin Hart, it might be the job that exactly nobody does. Sources tell Variety that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was "blindsided" by Hart's decision to step down as Oscars host after he was asked to apologize for homophobic tweets from years ago. The sources say the Academy and broadcaster ABC are now "freaking out" because they had no Plan B. One option now being considered is having no host at all, but using "a bunch of huge celebs, something SNL style, and buzzy people” to keep the show moving, the insiders say.
Variety's sources say that after the Hart mess, the Academy is worried about having anybody too "edgy" hosting the Feb. 24 ceremony—but also worried about an overly safe choice bringing ratings down. Sources tell TMZ that one thing keeping big names away is the relatively low pay: The Academy considers the honor of hosting the ceremony to be reward enough, and Jimmy Kimmel was paid just $15,000 to host the 2017 awards. The Academy's Board of Governors is holding a previously scheduled meeting Tuesday night and they will be expected to emerge with a Plan B, Vulture reports. (Read more Oscars stories.)