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2020 Oscars confirmed to be host-free

The Oscars will go without a host for the second year in the row.

The news was confirmed on Wednesday by Karey Burke, head of ABC Entertainment, during a stop in Pasadena, Calif. on the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

“Let me confirm, together with the Academy, that there will be no traditional host this year,” she said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Upon being asked the reason for the decision, Burke responded: “We expect that we’re going to have a very commercial set of nominations and a lot of incredible elements have come together that make us think we are going to have a very entertaining show again.”

2019 was the first time in 30 years that the Oscars went hostless, and only the seventh time in the history of the much-beloved awards show which began in 1929.

The 2019 Oscars pulled in less than 30 million viewers, making it one of the lowest-viewed Academy Awards showcase to date, next to 2018 — which raked in around 26.5 million views.

Initially, Kevin Hart was scheduled to host the show, however, he stepped down from those duties following a backlash over some previous homophobic tweets he made.

He was also criticized for a joke in his 2010 comedy special, Seriously Funny, in which he told his audience his biggest fear was his son coming out as gay.

In an Instagram video, Hart, 40, said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) called him and said, “Apologize for your tweets of old, or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.”

Hart said that he passed on that apology because he has “addressed [the tweets] several times” in the past.

Furthermore, in Jan. 2019, Hart decided to formally apologize to the LGBTQ2+ community during an episode of his own Straight from The Hart show on SiriusXM.

Though last year’s hosting situation resulted in controversy, no plans for any host, let alone a specific host in particular, were ever revealed by AMPAS for the 2020 Oscars.

Actors John Cho and Issa Rae are scheduled to announce the official 2020 nominations on Monday at 8:18 a.m.

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 9, on ABC.

— With files from Katie Scott

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