"For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same...I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to," he wrote alongside a photo of an Academy Award statue. "I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time....To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable."
He continued, "I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time....I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] for the opportunity ....now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars."
This will be Hart's first time emceeing the Oscars, which this year will be produced by first-timers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss—Gigliotti as producer and Weiss as co-producer and director. While Hart's roots are in stand-up comedy, he has become more of a household name with the success of movies such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Ride Along and most recently, Night School.
In 2015, Hart addressed the Oscars hosting role on an appearance on what was then Live With Kelly and Michael, telling the hosts, "That would be a major accomplishment. With what I've done and the progress I've made in my career, that's definitely the next major step, I feel, for a comedian."
For the last two years, the annual event has been led by late night host Jimmy Kimmel and produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd.
This year's awards have already been making headlines when the Academy announced in August that they would be adding a new "Popular Film Oscar" to the annual awards. After backlash from the public, the Academy announced in September that they would be taking another look at bringing in the new award.
“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement at the time. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years—including this year—and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”
Hudson continued that the Academy decided not to make any changes at this level with more than half the year left, saying, "The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions, and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category."
The 91st Academy Awards will air Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.
Photo Credit: Instagram/Kevin Hart