The Host of the Next Oscars Is an Anti-Trump Comedian
'Jumanji' star Kevin Hart stayed apolitical for a long, long time — but now he's gone down a negative path
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart (pictured above right) is going to be the host of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony, which will air on February 24 on ABC.
“I will be sure to make this year’s Oscars a special one,” the “Ride Along” star wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Now it’s time to rise to the occasion.”
“I appreciate @TheAcademy for the opportunity,” continued Hart.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same … I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose[d] to.”
The next Oscars show will also find new producers overseeing the show, likely a response to the ratings of the last program (hosted by Jimmy Kimmel) coming in at a record low.
There’s another change that’s being made to the ceremony in an effort to regain momentum with audiences: Not all of the 24 categories will be announced live. Only six to eight of them will be announced before a live audience — and those handful of announcements will be made during commercial breaks.
Edited versions of the acceptance speeches will be played for viewers later in the show.
It’s a rather dishonest way to approach the evening — but no doubt it’s a calculated move to avoid the divisiveness that, more and more, seems to come out of these awards programs. By taking out the live factor, the Oscars will be able to keep some political statements at bay that may inspire headlines that overshadow the evening.
Hart is also a much less politically involved comedian than Kimmel. Hart only recently revealed his political stances. He was once fiercely against revealing his opinions about President Donald Trump and other issues — but he became political at a recent awards show.
At the Video Music Awards in August, Hart told the audience people were allowed to kneel at the ceremony. “You can do whatever you want. There’s no old white men to stop you,” he said, clearly a reference to Donald Trump’s public disapproval of the NFL players who kneel during the playing or singing of the national anthem at games.
Hart later took another shot at the president.
“Beefs pop off, bad language, people run to the bathroom and send out crazy tweets,” Hart said of the VMA Awards show. “It’s basically like a typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump — suck it,” he said.
While Hart would normally be a guaranteed apolitical host, those jabs spell worry for the upcoming broadcast.
Hart could be embracing the political involvement of his fellow celebrities and the Oscars could be his chance to expand on that. Audiences could see a beloved comedian use the night to completely transform himself into yet another divisive celebrity — with little more to offer than tired political points about Trump.
Check out past political moments from the Oscars below: