Is Whoopi Goldberg hosting the Oscars?
That’s the theory going around because of the comedian’s sudden absence from her presenting job on US daytime talk show The View.
Goldberg is a regular on the panel show but she’s not been seen since she was announced among the celebrity presenters to appear at the 2019 Oscars ceremony.
The View is broadcast by ABC, the same network who produce the televised output for the Academy Awards, so speculation is rife that she isn’t actually “off sick” but in rehearsals ahead of the show this Sunday 24 February.
Whoopi Goldberg's absence from The View (she's sick, they say) since the day after they announced her as an Oscar presenter+the fact that she's the only previous Oscar host listed as a presenter+she openly said on The View in January that she'd be up for hosting=???
— Peter Knegt (@peterknegt) February 20, 2019
Kevin Hart stepped down from the role of host following a backlash concerning homophobic comments he had made years earlier and since then no one has been announced as his replacement.
In fact, an ABC executive said earlier this month that the show would go on without an official host, which Goldberg was against.
“If you want to go hostless, that’s your prerogative,” she said on The View. “I think it’s a dumb idea. People need someone to take them through things. I think it needs to be somebody who loves films.”
“I realise I may not be anybody’s first choice,” she added. “I’m also problematic!”
Goldberg has hosted the Oscars four times before; she was the first solo female host in 1994 and also did the job in 1996, 1999 and 2002.
Every one of her outings was praised by critics and audiences alike.
She also won an Oscar in 1991 for her supporting role in Ghost, having previously been nominated in 1989 for Best Actress for playing the lead in The Colour Purple.
The 91st Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, 24 February 2019 and is broadcast in the UK on Sky Cinema Premiere.