Following Kevin Hart’s announcement that he was bowing out as host of the 2019 Academy Awards, a report on Monday suggested that organizers behind the annual event are considering airing next year’s telecast without a host.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is exploring all options, sources with knowledge of the situation told Variety.
The show may go sans host, an insider told the outlet, and instead would feature “a bunch of huge celebs, something ‘SNL’ style, and buzzy people to throw to commercial.”
Organizers reportedly are leery of booking a host considered too controversial or “off the cuff,” the report claimed.
Hart announced last week that he was stepping down from hosting the award show amid criticism over years-old tweets deemed anti-gay.
“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,” Hart tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet he added, "I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."
Shortly after announcing the hosting gig, several now-deleted tweets by Hart using words such as “homo” and “gay,” dating back to 2011, resurfaced.
In a 2010 stand-up special, Hart said "If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will."
GLAAD, a group founded by LGBT people in media, said it had contacted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to discuss Hart’s gig prior to his stepping down.
The 91st Academy Awards is set to air Sunday, Feb. 24.
Fox News' Louis Casciano contributed to this report.