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14 LGBTQ, Queer-Friendly Oscar Hosts Who Could Shake It Up
Now That Kevin Hart Has Finally Stepped Down, We Have Some Thoughts...
Rather than apologize for anti-LGBTQ tweets that resurfaced once he was named the host of the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, Kevin Hart doubled down in a bizarre post in which he blamed queer people for being too "negative." When the backlash to his refusal to apologize spurred a call for Hart to be removed as host, he finally stepped down and apologized. Now the Academy needs to fill what is notoriously one of the most difficult hosting gigs that only a few have really nailed. Here are our queer and queer-friendly suggestions for Oscar hosts.
Anyone who watched Hannah Gadsby's "good men" speech at the Women in Entertainment breakfast earlier this week, in which she had the audience squirming over their support of "good men" who offer excuses and passes for "bad men," knows that she can silence a room. The lesbian comic from Tasmania whose Nanette Netflix special was a revelation this summer would likely have the old-guard Academy apoplectic with her refusal to excuse bad behavior. And that would be a delight to watch.
In the realm of Gadsby's directness, Billy Eichner channeling his acerbic Difficult People character Billy would be the perfect host to roast complacent Oscar voters. Additionally, who wouldn't root for Eichner running through the audience shouting questions and shoving a microphone toward the likes of Nicole Kidman, Rachel Weisz, and Rami Malek a la Billy on the Street?
Following her breakout turn in Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish is one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood. She's also deeply hilarious and direct. And Hollywood really does need that mirror held up to itself. Plus, an Oscars hosting gig would also offer her another opportunity to get more use out her white Alexander McQueen Girls Trip premiere dress that she resurrected for her Saturday Night Live hosting duties because she said she paid for it herself and she was going to get some wear out of it!
"I feel like I should be able to wear what I want, when I want, however many times I want, as long as I Febreze it," Haddish said on SNL.
Hamilton's charming, lovable creator and original star could sing, dance, and rap his way through an opening production number at the Oscars with absolute panache. For those who don't know Lin-Manuel Miranda from his Broadway juggernaut(s), he's about to become a household name with the release of Mary Poppins Returns this month. Also, he gave the world "love is love is love is love" at a time when LGBTQ people needed a balm. He'd hit all of the right chords.
Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis
After watching The Spy Who Dumped Me and their interviews together, there's no denying that Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis have fantastic chemistry. Of course, Saturday Night Live's perennial MVP McKinnon, with her ability to take on various characters and also to sing and dance, could handle hosting the Oscars on her own. Really, this is just an excuse to get these two together again.
A television star on Superstore and part of the boffo box office that is Crazy Rich Asians, gay actor Nico Santos landing the gig would be a nod to the importance of various kinds of representation in Hollywood. Also, he would just plain nail it.
Star of the breakout series Pose and ostensibly the show's anchor, Mj Rodriguez, with her easy charm and golden pipes (she can sing), could handily host the Academy Awards. To be fair, Rodriguez did defend Hart, saying that he should still host the Academy Awards even after he refused to apologize.
"I don't think he should be obligated or anything should be held against him for the past decisions he's made. We have to all be open with our hearts, you know?" she said.
Still, she'd be a much more enticing host.
Broadway diva Laura Benanti (My Fair Lady, She Loves Me, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), who's recently become more of a household name with her uncanny portrayal of Melania Trump on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, could lead an opening production number montage like no other. Imagine a segment in which Benanti's Melania strolls through the audience asking clueless questions of Oscar nominees.
It's Janelle Monae's year. From the release of her landmark Dirty Computer to the empowering "PYNK" video to her role in Welcome to Marwen, Monae, who came out this year, has been at the fore for representation of queer people of color. It's worth it to consider Monae for the Oscars hosting gig for the mind-blowing tuxedos she'd likely sport throughout the night.
Jonathan Van Ness
Queer Eye has led the way with opening communication between right-leaning people and the LGBTQ community. But the show's hair guru, Jonathan Van Ness, also calls out trouble when he sees it, like not allowing George H.W. Bush's abymal record with HIV and AIDS to go unchallenged. The style maven with the stunning coiffure could catch the Academy audience off-guard in the most unassuming way, and he'd look fabulous doing it.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Of course, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey seem like obvious choices to take on the hosting gig. But they were huge hits as cohosts of the Golden Globes for three years running for good reason. In the age of Time's Up and #MeToo, Poehler and Fey, who are both tireless show creators and producers, would be perfect to excoriate Hollywood's patriarchy. Poehler's James Cameron joke from 2013 remains one of the most perfect and pointed awards show jokes of all time.
Michael Urie is currently crushing it on Broadway in the revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy. But anyone lucky enough to see Urie (who rose to fame on Ugly Betty) in the one-man show Buyer and Cellar, in which he was a tour de force as the gay man who allegedly works in Barbra Streisand's personal mall, knows that Urie can handle Hollywood's elite.