News and Commentary

The Oscars Have No Host Again. Billy Crystal Sounds Off: ‘Like A Trial Without Witnesses’
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 15: Billy Crystal attends The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute To LGBTQ at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on May 15, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

The Academy Awards will once again be going hostless this year, a trend that started when a band of online woke scolds launched a successful cancel campaign to force comedian Kevin Hart into stepping down from hosting after several old jokes resurfaced that offended the LGBT community. Comedian Billy Crystal, who hosted several shows in the 1990s and early 2000s, is none too happy with the new tradition.

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Thursday, Crystal simultaneously blasted the Academy while swiping at Trump’s impeachment, comparing the hostless ceremony to a “trial without witnesses.”

“Moves faster, but not quite the result that you want,” Crystal told Kimmel, as reported by Fox News.

Crystal said that an Oscars host has a certain trust with the audience and that they are always on hand to carry the night if something goes awry, such as when the wrong Best Picture winner was announced in 2017.

“I always loved being out there. I loved the, I guess, the trust, you know, that the movie academy had in me to get out there, and I felt like it was a great honor to do it. And I think that when you have a show that’s as long as it is, things are going to happen,” he said. “And I think the problem with the no-host thing, perhaps, is that there’s not somebody out there to capitalize on that moment, like you do when the wrong best picture was nominated.”

In case an incident were to happen, Crystal advised the Academy to have the”right people out there” to ease the situation. Jimmy Kimmel, however, said that he hopes the night crashes and burns so that a host will be invited back.

“I hope it’s a disaster. We have to stick together, you know what I mean? These jobs are very few,” said Kimmel.

Kevin Hart had been slated to host the 2019 Oscars but stepped down within 48 hours of accepting the gig after the Academy demanded he apologize for his past jokes.

“I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I moved on, and I’m in a completely different space in my life,” Hart said in a video on Instagram at the time. “I’m going to be me; I’m going to stand my ground.”

Hours later, Hart stepped down from his dream of hosting the Oscars and apologized to the LGBTQ community for his “insensitive words.”

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars … this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” he wrote on Twitter. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

Speaking with Men’s Health earlier this week, Hart expressed regret with how he handled the situation, saying he had acted immaturely.

“With the whole Oscars thing, there was a big gap between what I thought the problem was versus what the problem really was,” Hart told the magazine. “I got 10 years where I made sure not to joke or play in the way that I did back then because it was a problem. I don’t care if you’re gay or not gay. I’m a people person. I’m going to love you regardless. It wasn’t until close friends like Wanda Sykes, Lee Daniels, and Ellen talked to me and explained what they didn’t hear me say that I understood. Then I was like, ‘Oh, s*** — I did f*** up.’”