We could've been in for a very different Oscars this year – one with a host – had the Academy's first choice been available.
On Wednesday (February 6), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson took to Twitter to respond to journalist Dan Buffa's suggestion that the show tap Johnson for next year's show. As it turns out, he was actually the first celeb tapped to be the show's emcee. Unfortunately, the reason he had to end up passing on the show is a pretty frustrating one for fans.
"Ah mahalo dude," Johnson said to Buffa. "I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever." Unfortunately, he was unable to make it work thanks to his shoot schedule for the upcoming Jumanji sequel.
"Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃," he mused.
As you're all likely aware by now, it was comedian Kevin Hart who was originally tapped after Johnson to take the reins for this year's Oscar ceremonies. He has since chosen to pass on hosting duties after a whirlwind of a will-he-or-won't-he back and forth that unfolded across Twitter and social media. We've laid that exhausting saga out for your convenience, but in a nutshell, Hart originally announced he would be hosting the Oscars back in December 2018. He promised to make this event "a special one," which... in many ways, he did.
Following Hart's Oscars announcement, fans had dug into his old tweets, discovering old stand-up material, quotes, and other commentary that was promptly labeled problematic in the realm of LGBTQ rights and women's issues. At first, Hart expressed frustration with "trolls" and stated that people "change, grow, and evolve" as they get older. Soon, this attitude shifted into a very somber one.
The Academy had issued him an ultimatum: He should apologize for his past comments or he would lose the hosting gig. After refusing to apologize, Hart formally announced he would be stepping down from the Oscars. And that's just the beginning of what eventually culminated in a final, concrete decision and appearance on Good Morning America. Hart gave the last word, a resounding no, during the show. Since then, the Oscars has remained hostless.
Interestingly enough, Hart will be appearing in the newest Jumanji film alongside Johnson. Why Hart initially accepted the role despite what is likely a busy shoot schedule for the film for him as well is unknown, but one thing's for sure: We could have had a potentially magical Oscar night.
If The Rock happens to free up some time between now and Sunday, we'd definitely like to see him go ahead and take on the hosting role. For now, we're looking forward to, well, all the chaos.