Ellen to the rescue.
The Academy Awards have spent the last few years mired in a desperate attempt to find hosts that can present balance of relevant and respectful, with nothing but grief to show for it. Last year, Seth MacFarlane pumped ratings but also fanned all sorts of anger for his songs about boobs and jokes about women, gays, and Jews, and it was pretty clear that the Academy had to make some amends.
Enter Ellen DeGeneres, the beloved, Emmy-winning talk show host who has already successfully hosted the Oscars, back in 2007. On Friday, she announced on Twitter that she would be returning to host in 2014.
This is quite the early announcement, and seemingly unexpected. But DeGeneres does perfectly fit every single requirement for what the Oscars needed after MacFarlane’s performance last year: She’s a gay woman with a big fan base, and most importantly, she’s funny and loved by all.
This quote, which she said back when she hosted the show in 2007, says it all: “What a wonderful night, such diversity in the room, in a year when there’s been so many negative things said about people’s race, religion, and sexual orientation. And I want to put this out there: If there weren’t blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars, or anyone named Oscar, when you think about that.”
It’s a coup for producers Neal Meron and Craig Zadan, who were emphatically defending MacFarlane after his show aired. The Family Guy creator said he wouldn’t host again, though it’s hard to believe the public would allow it, anyway.