Awards Tracker

All things Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys

Category: Will Smith

Poll: Who should host the Oscars?


Now that we know who the next Oscar telecast producers will be -- veteran TV helmer Don Mischer and film director/producer Brett Ratner -- the big question to solve is who the host(s) will be. I think we can rule out a return by James Franco and Anne Hathaway after the drubbing they took for this year's ceremony.

Mischer was one of the producers of this year's event but has a long history of success with big events on TV, including the Emmy Awards, Super Bowl concerts and Olympic ceremonies. He most certainly learned what to do and most importantly what not to do for his next turn at bat. Ratner has never produced this type of show but has a deep love for film history and a reputation for knowing everybody in the business. Between the two of them, the presenter lineup should be glitzier than ever.

But what about the host or hosts for 2012? Here's a stable of stars associated with either Ratner or Mischer (and a few others for good measure) who might be up for the challenge.

Whoopi2HUGH JACKMAN -- Hosted to great acclaim in 2009 but has turned down the job since. Ratner directed him in "X-Men: The Last Stand," so he might just be the guy to convice him to come back.

BEN STILLER -- Has been an Oscar presenter on many occasions (remember his makeup presentation in "Avatar" makeup?) and had great success presenting/hosting on many live awards events. Ratner directed him in the upcoming film "Tower Heist" with Eddie Murphy.

KEVIN SPACEY -- Might be an unconventional choice to some but he is a great live performer who sings and does impressions (plus, he's a two-time Oscar winner). Ratner produced two of his films ("Horrible Bosses" & "21").

BILLY CRYSTAL -- An eight-time much-loved host of the Oscars who has turned down the job pretty much ever since. With a slowing career, this might be the right time for him to accept the offer again. He and Ratner share the same agent.

ELLEN DEGENERES -- Saying it was her lifelong dream, she hosted the ceremony in 2007. Mischer worked with her as host of the Emmys in 2001.

WILL SMITH -- If they want an international superstar to appeal globably, he might be a top choice. He would certainly bring a strong energy to the show. He and Ratner share the same agent.

JIMMY FALLON -- If ABC could swallow the fact that his show is on NBC, he might be suggested by Mischer because they worked together very well on the 2010 Emmys together.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS -- Always excels at these sorts of live events, having hosted the Tonys, Emmys and many other TV shows.

WILL FERRELL -- One of the top comedic actors working today and has extensive live experience from his "Saturday Night Live" days.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE -- With a film career at full speed, he also brings a wealth of live performing to the game. He has hosted/presented on the MTV Awards, ESPY Awards, "Saturday Night Live," and many other events. Would definitely appeal to a younger crowd.

OPRAH WINFREY -- Many speculated that she could be the type of host to bring all generations together plus draw a worldwide audience. With the announcement of her receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award this year, they may not want her hosting as well.

JON STEWART, STEVE MARTIN, ALEC BALDWIN, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CHRIS ROCK -- Maybe they want to go to the well with a previous host just so they know what they're getting.

-- Tom O'Neil


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Photo: Oprah Winfrey is getting an honorary Oscar in November. Will she host next year? Credit: Reuters. Whoopi Goldberg would be a known quantity hosting the Oscars. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Cecil B. DeMille Award snubs women and minorities again

Golden globe up closeWhy does the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. continue to snub women and minorities when bestowing its Cecil B. DeMille Award? When it was announced Tuesday that Robert De Niro will receive the honorary prize at the Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 16, many of us award-watchers shrugged, thinking: "Great. Another old white guy!"

Granted, De Niro, 67, deserves the trophy, which is bestowed upon "talented individuals who have made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment," according to HFPA guidelines. However, only one of the past 58 recipients has been African American:  Sidney Poitier (1982, age 54). None has been Asian American. It's been more than a decade since a woman was hailed.

Recent recipients include Martin Scorsese (2010, age 67), Steven Spielberg (2009; he was to receive the award in 2008 but it was postponed because of the writers' strike), Warren Beatty (2007, age 69), Anthony Hopkins (2006, age 68), Robin Williams (2005, age 53), Michael Douglas (2004, age 59), Gene Hackman (2003, age 72), Harrison Ford (2002, age 59), Al Pacino (2001, age 60), and Barbra Streisand (2000, age 57).

Isn't an organization like the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. supposed to be sensitive to the diversity of people culturally, etc.?

Here are African Americans who come to mind as being snubbed this year: Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey.

Continue reading »

Poll: Who should host the Oscars?

Mo'nique will smith oscars newsDeadline Hollywood reports that Hugh Jackman has turned down an offer to host the next Oscar ceremony because he's "too busy preparing the sequel to 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' which 20th Century Fox is mobilizing to begin shooting in late February or early March. Problem is that the Oscars will be held February 27th."

There's been much buzzing about Betty White, but she's already pooh-poohed that, so forget it.

Personally, I think Will Smith should do it. He's the biggest movie star in the world right now, extremely likable and a terrific comedian and entertainer.

I asked our forum posters who they think might be tapped. The responses had quite a range, from Adam Sandler to Mo'Nique. Read responses here. Below, I pooled some of their top suggestions into a poll so we can seek your view.

Tom O'Neil


Photo of Mo'Nique by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times  

Photo of Will Smith by Peter Kramer / Associated Press


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