The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reportedly reached out to Eddie Murphy to host the 2019 Oscars, though he is apparently not interested.
Kevin Hart stepped down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards on Friday, leaving the organization with less than three months to find a replacement host. According to sources who spoke to Radar Online, the Academy asked Eddie Murphy to fill the spot — a request that many see as ironic given the circumstances.
Hart opted not to host after a massive controversy over homophobic tweets he posted between 2009 and 2011. As far as the actor was concerned, he had apologized enough over the years, and this latest backlash was more about control than justice.
If that was enough to get Hart off of the Oscar stage, Murphy is a surprising next choice for the Academy. Murphy has a long history of homophobic jokes and slander, including a long diatribe in his famous Delirious stand-up comedy special.
On top of that, Murphy turned down the job back in 2012 when the Academy got into conflict with producer Brett Ratner.
Regardless, the chances of Murphy hosting are low. The insider told reporters that Murphy is "uninterested" in the gig. They also claimed that he had been asked multiple times over the years, turning it down each time.
Ratner, who was accused of sexual misconduct by at least nine women in the course of the Me Too movement, was initially set to produce the 84th Academy Awards with Murphy as host. However, at the time he stepped down after he was caught using homophobic slurs.
"Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career," he said in a statement at the time. "But as painful as this may be for me, it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents."
Before long, Murphy left as well. In his departure, he framed Ratner as a creative partner, without whom he did not want to work on the show.
"I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job," he said.
Murphy is reportedly "less interested" this year than ever before. The actor has kept a low profile in the last several years, with only three feature film credits to his name this decade.
Still, time is running out and the Academy is running out of candidates to take the lauded hosting gig. A recent editorial by The Hollywood Reporter titled "Why Oscar Host Has Become the Least Wanted Job in Hollywood" explained why no stars are lining up to host anymore, and why the show needs some serious changes if it is to keep going.