This year’s Oscars will be held without an official host – for the first time in 30 years.

The head of ABC Entertainment, which airs the Academy Awards ceremony , said it would instead highlight celebrities presenting the trophies.

Reports had suggested the broadcaster was struggling to fill the role – one of the toughest in US show business.

In December, comedian Kevin Hart pulled out from hosting the ceremony following a controversy over homophobic tweets.

He said he did not want to be a distraction and that he was “sorry he had hurt people”.

What did ABC Entertainment say?

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said the ceremony on 24 February in Los Angeles would forgo a host and “just have presenters host the Oscars”.

The decision was taken after Hart’s withdrawal, she said.

Ms Burke added that “the mystery” hanging about this year’s event “has been compelling”, proving that viewers were keen to watch it.

Kevin HartImage copyrightAFP
Image captionKevin Hart: “I sincerely apologise to the LGBTQ community”

A number of Academy Awards ceremonies have had no host. In the last such case – a highly controversial event in 1989 – producer Allan Carr made the decision in order to make room for more celebrity presenters.

The role of anchoring the Oscars has thrown up problems for a number of hosts since then. The Hollywood Reporter has described it as “the least wanted job in Hollywood“.

The controversy about Hart’s tweets comes after a difficult few years for the Academy that have seen Envelopegate, the OscarsSoWhite campaign and the scrapping of a proposed popular film award category.

Source: BBC