Everyone’s curious what the 2021 Oscars will look like, especially with a uniquely talented producer like Steven Soderbergh working behind-the-scenes to bring it to fruition, but one holdover from last year will continue: there will be no host. Deadline reports that for the upcoming Oscars telecast, there won’t be a single host, as producers instead have now made offers to talent to come present awards for film’s biggest night.
This will be the third Oscars in a row without a host, as the telecast was forced to forge ahead host-less in 2019 when Kevin Hart bowed out of hosting duties following backlash for jokes using anti-gay slurs. While many predicted doom, the telecast was actually one of the best in years, and the trend continued last year with select presenters introducing other presenters who then revealed the nominees for each category.
Plans are still fluid, but we know that the producers of the 93rd Academy Awards – Soderbergh, Stacey Sher, and Jesse Collins – have told nominees that Zoom acceptance speeches will be not allowed. Those involved are determined to put on as normal a show as they can, using Union Station to host the majority of the show where nominees can socially distance. The Dolby Theater will be used for performances, Deadline notes.
It sounds like this year’s Oscars might actually be pretty fun, and the no-host news is good news. While Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are terrific, their bi-coastal hosting duties for this year’s Golden Globes felt somewhat remote, and their timing was off due to the differing locations. So the notion of letting the show flow without a central host for this year’s Oscars is a smart move.
Despite all this – and despite a wonderfully diverse crop of nominees – many are bracing for a low-rated telecast. Pandemic fatigue and a lack of “box office hits” nominees are likely to blame, as most studios delayed their 2020 movies to 2021 when the box office returns. Still, the vast majority of this year’s Oscar nominees are available to stream, so perhaps folks will catch up on their own time and tune in to see what will likely be a history-making ceremony with two women nominated for Best Director for the first time, and Chadwick Boseman up for a posthumous Best Actor award.