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Should Eddie Murphy host the Oscars? [Poll]

September 6, 2011 |  8:24 am

Eddie_Murphy_in_Dreamgirls

It's obvious why Oscarcast producer Brett Ratner would want Eddie Murphy to host the next Academy Awards ceremony: to hype their upcoming flick "Tower Heist," which doesn't exactly look like a major kudos contender. And it's clear why Murphy may want to take the gig, even in the aftermath of last year's wipeout by James Franco and Anne Hathaway: His career badly needs a kick-start. But is Murphy right for the job?

He has two strong pluses. A good Oscar host should be 1) a notable Hollywood veteran (like Bob Hope, Steve Martin) with 2) expert comedy chops. Also, let's be honest: It'd be great to see the Oscars put a minority in the spotlight again.

But Murphy can be smug (he reportedly stormed out of the Kodak Theatre when he didn't win the Oscar for "Dreamgirls") and not exactly a team player. Let's not forget how he interrupted the presentation of the best picture Oscar in 1988 to fume at Hollywood over its lack of recognition for black films.

And as the Oscarcast's Nielsen TV ratings continue to slip year to year, is it realistic to believe that an over-the-hill star such as Murphy can turn it around? Should someone more hip and relevant be cast?

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Eddie Murphy in "Dreamgirls." Credit: DreamWorks

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