When Donna Gigliotti, who is producing this year’s Oscars, took the stage Monday at a reception for the Producers Guild Award nominees in New York, she had a simple message for everyone present: “If anyone in this room asks me who is going to host the Oscars, security is going to escort you out.”
Gigliotti made the joke before introducing Bruce Cohen, the winner of this year’s Charles B. FitzSimons Lifetime Achievement Award. Cohen himself is certainly no stranger to the Oscars; in addition to winning best picture in 2000 for American Beauty, he also produced the 2011 Oscars broadcast. Leading up to this year’s show, Cohen told The Hollywood Reporter he’s been vicariously riding “the intense, indescribable roller coaster ride that is producing the Oscars.”
This year is particularly challenging for the Academy, and all because of the hosting role. Kevin Hart was announced to lead the show on Dec. 4, but withdrew from the gig just two days later after an uproar over years-old homophobic tweets. The position has remained vacant ever since.
But according to Cohen, the Oscars don’t necessarily need a host.
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